June 19th, 2008
05:28 PM ET
12 years ago

Clyburn: Some House Democrats might not endorse Obama

Clyburn said it's important for members of Congress to evaluate the mood of their constituents.

Clyburn said it's important for members of Congress to evaluate the mood of their constituents.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Majority Whip James Clyburn said Thursday he expects some Democratic legislators to hold back from endorsing Barack Obama because it could prove politically unwise in their congressional districts.

On CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," Clyburn was asked if some Democrats might follow the path of Oklahoma Rep. Dan Boren, who said last week he would not endorse Obama because the presumptive Democratic nominee holds liberal positions that are out of step with his constituents. (Yesterday, Boren clarified that he will indeed vote for Obama.)

Clyburn said “most Democrats in the United States Congress are going to be very supportive of this campaign” but predicted that others may be more hesitant.

WATCH Clyburn's interview from The Situation Room

"A lot of them are going to look at their congressional districts and see how the congressional district voted,” Clyburn said. "And they'll be holding back, waiting to get some signal from their constituents as to how they ought to conduct themselves."

It's justified for some conservative Democrats to withhold their support, Clyburn explained.

"That's how it should be, Wolf," he said. "It’s one thing for us to have a big tent party. But it's also another thing for these candidates to stay in close touch with their constituents. And I understand that."

Clyburn, who accused of Bill Clinton of using racially-loaded language during the Democratic primary and once told the former president to "chill," thinks Clinton will eventually campaign for Obama - on his own terms.

"I think that President Clinton will come to this campaign when he thinks its best for him to do so. But I expect him to be very supportive of the Democratic ticket."

soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. Loretta from California

    in other words-be concerned that they will not be re-elected.....losing support of their constituents. I see.

    BTW, thank you 2012.

    June 19, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  2. I love America

    Who cares?

    There were some GOP members of Congress in 2004, like Lincoln Chafee, who refused to support George W Bush.

    June 19, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  3. frank

    when yoda speaks people listen.

    June 19, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  4. FactCheck

    > A lot of Democrats were forced into endorsing Obama- but they saw
    >what was happening….

    Try picking up a newspaper sometime. Maybe then you would have an original thought rather than sprouting off talking points from your good friends at Faux News.

    June 19, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. R.I.F.

    This is a very transparent and lame attempt to keep the "party's not unified" story going.

    Where's the news Wolf? Many GOP congressmen aren't backing McCain either. This happens every single presidential election for both democrats and republicans. There has not been one candidate on either side in the last 50 years that had the backing of their entire elected congress. Maybe you should've added that little tidbit since CNN is supposed to be "independent".

    This is a very transparent and lame ttempt to keep the "party's not unified" story going.

    June 19, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Obama is part of the whats in it for me generation and has never known what sacrafice really is so why should a conservative democrat support the most liberal senator for president. His generation has had everything handed to it. No wonder they want a European Socialism/Welfare State for America. They would be lost if they were held responsible for their own lives and actions.

    June 19, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. TheTruthHurts

    So What? Politicians making a political calculation? No news here. Move along, nothing to see here.

    I think these folks will become shocked when they find Barack is more fiscally conservative than many. More militarily conservative than many. He is clearly a socially liberal politician in terms of voting, but he is not on the left fringe as some would argue.

    He wants the interests of the have-nots to be part of the equation and that is seen as ultra-liberal at this point in our politics.

    June 19, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |

    Remember 18 million people supported Senator Clinton and AT LEAST half of those will NEVER vote for Obama...

    Obama is becoming more and more like everything he PROMISED not to be... Remember the whole "Politics as Usual" speeches? What a JOKE that has turned out to be...

    He lost my vote.

    June 19, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  9. Marc

    I love how every supposedly "old" or "white" or "female" person feels they have to identify themselves to try and drum up support for Obama, although I know they're faking. "58 old white ladies for OBAMA" : you sure don't talk like an older woman, you sound more like a punk kid. Quit trying to fool people into believing his support is cross-race/gender/generational. It isn't. His appeal is to low income blacks, idealistic/naive college kids, and wealthy folks who don't care about gas prices.

    June 19, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  10. Ralph

    McCain is so unelectable. He will lose in Nov by the largest margin in our political history. Just watch. It can happen no other way.

    June 19, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  11. lil

    "Other member of congress" are afraid to endorse Obama because they are afraid the people in their state wont vote for them because
    they are republicans who voted democrate last election. And that makes sense.

    June 19, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  12. Sean

    So they're going to support McCain? Once Clinton suspended her campaign, they were all free to make their decision. They no longer have to support their districts' candidate if that candidate is no longer running.

    June 19, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. Sean

    Down with Obama: It is clear that your beef with Obama is personal, not based on policy. Your inference that any supporter of Obama needs to "go down" is indicative of a bigger problem that you have. I hope you can come to grips with it before November.

    June 19, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  14. No socialist regime

    You all have done enough damage to the democratic party by fixing the primary and giving it to Obama.

    HRC was the most qualified and the DNC and party elites savaged her and sacrificed her... just for the chance to install the puppet Obama.

    Anything to pander to the newbies and AAs.

    Who wants to belong to such a party? We need a third party. The NEW democrats are socialist left wingers. Us old democrats are stuck with no real choice.

    June 19, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. legal but unethical

    Still for Hill.

    Only for Hill.

    You stole the nomination by trashing the good woman.

    Obama is just a liar and is NO rookie to dirty politics.

    He defines dirty as illegal- I define it as unethical and crooked and manipulative.

    Technically he breaks no Laws... but he sure crosses the line of integrity and ethical behavior.

    June 19, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  16. tedious898

    Down with Obama,

    What's this PUMA Democrat for McCain stuff? Is this some radical group for seniors? Help me out here.

    June 19, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  17. I Can't Wait To Vote For Barack

    This is America and we think differently. There will be people, even Democrats who won't vote for Obama. It's life–let's move on.

    My vote will be cast for him because I believe he's the best thing that's happened to politics since, well since John Kennedy. He's a Democrat, he's a visionary, and he's got guts beyond belief. He beat the Clinton machine and then handed Hillary an olive branch. I really like this man, and I'm in love with America because our country is giving him a chance.

    Yes, we definitely can. If I'm dreaming, I don't want to wake up.

    Obama 08, 12......yeah!

    June 19, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  18. L Griffith

    Booga, Booga, Booga! Liberal, Liberal, Liberal! The reactionary republican mantra never changes and never means anything. Just don't waste your time asking what substantive policies or positions are "liberal" vs what are "conservative". They don't have a clue what they mean or what they think, because they don't think at all. It's all hate and fear. Booga, Booga, Booga! Liberal, Liberal, Liberal!

    June 19, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  19. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Please read carefully what Clyburn is saying instead of running off half cocked because he is right. House democrats must hold their seats and it is imperative they listen to their constituents. That doesn't necessary mean they won't support Obama. Further, the dirty comments are posted by Republicans who want us to think negative when it works the same way in the Republican party.

    June 19, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. Proud American

    Politics is politics.

    June 19, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  21. R.I.F.

    Shannon June 19th, 2008 5:39 pm ET

    Nice lie. You are the reason why he set up that new smear website. He never said any of that. The whole thing is on tape which includes no of what you just said you idiot. You must also be the NAFTA "leaker".

    June 19, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. Haddie, AL

    I honestly believe one less person will die if Barack is president. Wouldn't it be great if that one person turned into ten people, then one hundred people, then one thousand people.

    Yes, America if I can save one life, Barack will get my vote. And I don't know anyone personally in the war, but as far as I'm concerned they are all my children.

    Barack the Vote 08

    June 19, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  23. Ridgeway

    Any of them with half a brain. We need a President not a "slick talking empty suit". This guy's got nothing to offer in the way of achievements.

    June 19, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  24. Vern

    They won't endorse but they will vote for him come November. That's all that matters!

    June 19, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. S Callahan

    I think the politicians in their congressional districts need to be more concerned with NOT taking a step to vote for change...the American people are fed up with everything...it's an across the board change that is going on (local, state and national) ..not for just the President....

    June 19, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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