June 13th, 2010
01:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Clyburn: 'Elephant dung' all over S.C. Dem primaries


"I saw the patterns in this,' House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-South Carolina, said Sunday of his state's recent Democratic primaries. (Photo Credit: CNN)

(CNN) – A leading South Carolina Democrat charged Sunday that his state’s recent Democratic primaries had been tainted. And House Majority Whip James Clyburn used some very colorful language to do so.

In addition to the fact that Alvin Greene, an unemployed veteran with no apparent campaign apparatus, won Tuesday’s race for the South Carolina’s Democratic Senate nomination, Clyburn also told CNN of a suspicious element in his own primary race - a consultant with Republican ties worked for Clyburn’s unsuccessful challenger.

Watch: Clyburn speaks out on recent S.C. Dem primaries

“I saw the patterns in this,” Clyburn said on CNN’s State of the Union. “I know a Democratic pattern. I know a Republican pattern and I saw in the Democratic primary elephant dung all over the place. And so I knew something was wrong in that primary. And this result tells us that.”

Clyburn also told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that he did not see himself supporting Greene in his effort to unseat popular conservative lawmaker Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina. And Clyburn reiterated his theory that Greene’s candidacy was orchestrated to disrupt the electoral process in South Carolina. “Of course, Candy, I never said [Greene] was a Republican plant,” explained Clyburn. “I said he was someone’s plant.”

Related: Clyburn calls for an investigation into Greene's bid

Speaking to CNN’s Don Lemon in an interview that aired Saturday night, Greene denied that he had been planted in the race by the Republican Party.

(Video of Lemon's interview with Greene embedded after the jump)

“No, I’ve always been a Democrat,” Greene told Lemon. “And I am the best candidate for United States Senate in South Carolina.”

Greene, who is jobless and living with his father, said he used his personal savings to pay the roughly $10,000 filing fee required to initiate his Senate bid. And Greene had “no comment” about criminal charges pending against him, repeatedly telling Lemon that his lawyer “was dealing with that.”

Greene also called two South Carolina lawmakers who have questioned his mental health “knuckleheads.”

The chairwoman of the South Carolina Democratic Party called on Greene to withdraw from the race soon after the criminal charge against him was first reported, but Greene refused.

“The election was certified as 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time yesterday,” he told Lemon Saturday. "So, I’m on the ballot from here on out. I’m in all the way and I’m the best candidate for United States Senate in this race in South Carolina.”

Filed under: 2010 • Alvin Greene • James Clyburn • Popular Posts • South Carolina • State of the Union
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Jeep

    Sounds like some really, really sore losers! Get used to it, Democrats are on their way out!

    June 13, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Eddie B.

    This is an embarrassment!!!! He clearly is slow and has problems. This guy was planted in this election and also shows how racists South Carolina still is. Unreal!!!!

    June 13, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Angus McDugan

    Just the old school D.C. insiders not wanting to let non-insiders to start the flood into the D.C. political stage. Protecting their own!

    Sad day in politics.

    June 13, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. Larry

    GOP is desperate. I've no doubt this is true, I saw the interview with Alvin Greene, and it was soooo obvious he was being coached by someone just off camera. Almost comical. Hate to say it, but coming from a native Southerner, we are embarrassing–still living in the 19th century. And until our schools catch up with the real world we will continue to be the nation's armpit. Having an undereducated and unenlightened electorate as we do, it makes us easy pickin's for the lowest common denominator, the Republican Party, or worse, the Tea Party.

    June 13, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. cmatter

    i wonder what the justice department will do

    June 13, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. mike

    We can only hope that this entrenched old time Democrat gets booted out of office this November... all thesae long time incumbents need to be replaced, starting with Clyburn!

    June 13, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  7. Jane

    This guy is truly an idot and out of touch with the voters in his state. The people voted for Green and the people of SC want his as their choice. Another democrat slamming his party because the elite politicians are not happy with the people's choice. Why don't they just vote in congress to take away the voter's rights since they don't want people to express their right to vote for the candidate of their choice. Total idiot.

    June 13, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. Yahbut

    Mr. Clyburn is just being Mr. Clyburn.
    It didn't go his way so it is crooked.
    Since his candidate didn't win then it must be the Republicans' fault.
    Maybe the people who voted for Mr. Greene just wanted a change.
    Maybe they didn't want another candidate like Mr. Clyburn.

    June 13, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. Maeve

    I listened to Mr. Greene in a T-V interview. The interviewer was very gentle. The fact is Mr. Greene has the intelligence of a door knob. Unemployed people usually don't have over $10,000. to spend on filing fees for election campaigns. Mr Greene is an insult to our political process. The people who came up with the idea of throwing this guy to the politcal wolves should be ashamed. They are supposed to be adults. They are supposed to care about our government and our country, Is this a Taliban plot? They should be searching for the best and the brightest to help our country recover from the difficult period in our history, instead they play a childish prank that if the folks of South Carolina are dumb enough to elect him, would do more to damage our government. Then again, maybe that is what South Carolina is all about. Tolerance of stupidity. If it is elephant dung, I hope the dung shovelers end up under it.

    June 13, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. godfather

    mr. greene was planted by the republicans they using him to get elected

    June 13, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. Tony

    Totally embarrasing – and I am from SC. 🙁

    June 13, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. pat

    Of course something is wrong here! You don't get elected when no one has even heard of you. Why didn't he contact a local newspaper and announce his candidacy? Public speaking doesn't seem to be a talent of his but you don't know if he's been told to say little or if he's naturally taciturn. His yes and no answers sure don't sound like someone running for office.

    June 13, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. ruty

    If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck –then it's a duck. I say Greene is a DUCK. I believe him to be a republican duck planted by a republican duck in a democrat primary. This is typical of republicans.

    June 13, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. cw

    This guy Alvin Greene is a joke. How could this man possibly be the democratic nominee for the U.S senate in South Carolina ? Something is wrong with South Carolina poltics . This man didn't campaign, didn't have a website or anything else it takes to run a poltical campaign. We did he get the money to run? He's been unemployed for a while. This is why people need to research the candidates they are voting for. You never know who you may be putting in office. Aside from that, this guy doesn't sound like a politician . When he speaks he doesn't speak in complete sentences. This man is joke for anyone who calls themself a politician. I don't know where this guy came from but he's ruining South Carolina Democratic politics. Hopefully this man will get out the race peacefully and Vic Rawls will be the democatic nominee for Senate in the state of South Carolina.

    June 13, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. PR

    Something smells rotten about this election. The democratic winner is unemployed and is now facing felony charges. This guy is a dirt bag from day one, doesn't have the brains god gave a goose and was set up to win. Question is who paid the bill?

    June 13, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  16. Peggy Lucas

    George Bush and the Republicans lied to get us into Iraq – what do we expect from the party of NO! A plant in South Carolina! Now if he would defeat DeMint, justice would prevail!

    June 13, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. Ken

    I really don't understand what the issue is here. It's not like this is the first time an uneducated, inexperienced, unqualified individual is being considered for a job. Also, does any of that matter anyway? He is a seat filler, just another vote for the dems agenda in congress. It doesn't matter if you have your own state issues to worry about ie: oil washing ashore in la, ms, al and fl. Or illegal aliens bankrupting az. He is going to be strong armed by the party heads to vote their agenda regardless. Good luck sc

    June 13, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. LMC

    It's pretty clear that the Republican Party had a hand in running a nonviable Democratic candidate in this race and I find that totally reprehensible!

    June 13, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  19. mother and sister of soldiers

    There is no civility in politics and it goes all the way to the WH. The WH is in question about Sestak and another individual....can we trust the electoral process? This country is in a sad state of affairs. If our president doesn't lead by example, how can we expect citizens to be civil human beings? This country is out of control!!!

    June 13, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. Donovan

    He's such an OBVIOUS plant. It needs to be investigated. SC politics is about as corrupt as politics can get.

    June 13, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. JR

    If only a small fraction of Republican voters crossed the line and won 60% for Mr. Green over the well known Democrat candidates, I don't see how any of those Democrats could do in the general election.
    With all the Republican voters in general election, Sen. Jim DeMint would win with more than 80%, just simple math.
    Therefore, the best option is to let Jim DeMint faces Mrs. Green in order to avoid such humiliation for Democrats. With Mr. Green, it would look like a comic election, and Sen. Jim DeMint legitimacy would just be considered as comic as his election.
    For people who are saying that Mr. Green is poor and not smart , so he could not be in US Senate:
    First, The US Constitution do not prohibit poor people to be in Senate.
    Second, I am not sure that those who are actually in the Senate are smarter that Mr. Green. I am not talking about their college degrees; I am talking about their ability to act for the best interest of the country and the people they are supposed to serve. They serving, instead, the country competitors of our country, by destroying the USA and its people. Everything they have been doing is just very negative for the country.
    I would prefer rather to have, at least, 60% of people like Mr. Green in the US Congress. This country could be better.
    Mr. Green you have my vote, and keep up.

    June 13, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. njt25

    I will admit he dosent fit the typical politician stereotype. Even so, he did go to USC and served in the military, therefore I do not think he is completely uneducated. I do not understand why the democrats in SC are so upset, it is there fault for not supporting a strong candidate. Demint would probably beat any democratic candidate.

    June 13, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    This guy is unintelligible and clearly mentally impaired or on some sort of drugs. Nice job South Carolina!!!

    June 13, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Gerry NH

    Clyburn seems disoriented. I guess if things are not going good for you or your party the other side is cheating.. What a looser.

    June 13, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. jimbo

    Can't you lose gracefully, just once? Did you ever think the voters might be unhappy with you?

    June 13, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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