House Majority Whip James Clyburn insisted that ‘voter suppression’ is the only thing that could prevent Joe Biden from winning the presidency during a heated Fox News interview on Sunday.
The South Carolina Democrat, who is black, claimed that many black residents in his state are facing voter suppression with the election looming in less than two days during Fox News’ Democracy 2020 Election Preview Special on Sunday.
Clyburn said he is ‘praying’ for black supporters of President Donald Trump and suggested that most black voters will cast ballots for Biden.
‘It’s all about turnout at this point. I suspect that we’ll find out in 48 hours how successful these suppression tactics have been. That is the one concern that I have,’ he said.
‘The only way, in my opinion, for Joe Biden not to be successful on Tuesday is for voter suppression to be successful.’
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House Majority Whip James Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina, insisted that ‘voter suppression’ is the only thing that could prevent Joe Biden from winning the presidency during a heated Fox News interview on Sunday (pictured)
‘I have had complaints all day today,’ Clyburn continued in his interview with Fox News hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum.
‘Professional football players from my home state cannot vote because their ballots have not been delivered to them. They can’t come home to vote because they are in lockdown because of COVID-19.
‘And so I already know some Biden voters here in South Carolina are not going to be allowed to vote simply because the postal service has been undercut by the Postmaster General.
‘I just hope that when this campaign is over, there’ll be some serious discussions and some serious action taken to insulate the voting process from the whims of any one person. That includes the president of the United States.’
MacCallum pushed back at Clyburn’s strong words by noting that absentee ballots have been available in South Carolina for months and stating that ballot drop boxes were widely available.
Clyburn responded incredulously: ‘South Carolina has got voter drop boxes? I wish you would show them to me.
‘I’ve been in South Carolina for all of my 80 years. We do not have voter drop boxes. That is how lies get out.’
MacCallum appeared taken aback as she replied: ‘Well, it is my understanding that every state has them. If South Carolina doesn’t, that is a big question that South Carolina should address immediately, because it is my understanding that every state has them.’
‘We tried very hard to get voter drop boxes and the legislature would not approve them,’ Clyburn said, referencing Democrats’ failed efforts to mandate drop boxes statewide earlier this year. Some individual counties, however, have set up their own locations to drop off ballots.
‘No, we don’t have voter drop boxes. That’s why I am saying when this campaign is over, we need to go to work and say, for federal elections, Congress and president, there must be drop boxes.’
Fox News hosts Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier repeatedly pushed back against Clyburn over the course of Sunday’s interview
Clyburn said he is ‘praying’ for black Trump supporters and cast doubt on a Fox News poll that showed 14 percent of black voters nationwide supporting the president
At another point in the interview Clyburn was asked about a recent Fox News poll which showed 14 percent of black voters nationwide supporting Trump.
‘Aside from what you’re saying about the mail-in ballots, do you see some shift here?’ Baier probed.
‘No, I don’t,’ Clyburn responded. ‘I don’t know where those polls come from. I’ve seen polls that say he’s at eight percent in the African-American community.
‘And I can tell you what, I’m the father of three black women. I am the son of a black woman. If any black man can go in and cast a vote for a man who referred to a black woman as a dog on national television, I am going to have to pray for them.
Clyburn said he couldn’t understand voting for Trump given the way he’s spoken about black women in the past
‘I don’t know of any man [who] can abide that kind of disrespect and insult.’
Clyburn appeared to be referencing a tweet Trump posted in 2018, in which he called former Obama aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman a ‘crazed, crying lowlife’ and a ‘dog’ after she released a tell-all book about the White House.
Pressing Clyburn to explain his comments, Baier asked: ‘What you’re saying here is, essentially, what Joe Biden said on that radio show, that if you’re black and you vote for Trump, “you ain’t black.”
‘That’s what he said. He later apologized for that, but you’re sending the same message to African-Americans who may have a different choice in this election.’
Clyburn pushed back against Baier’s characterization, saying: ‘What I said was, any man that calls one of my three daughters a dog, I would never vote for them, and I don’t understand any black man that would vote for anybody that refers to a Black woman [that way].
‘All of us that I know are sons of black women. I don’t stand for that kind of insult for my mothers, my sisters or my children.’
Biden is seen greeting Clyburn at a campaign event in South Carolina in February
Clyburn’s comments came as Biden has spent the final days of his campaign appealing to black communities to vote in-person during a pandemic that has disproportionally affected their communities, betting that a strong turnout will boost his chances in states that could decide the election.
On Sunday the Democratic challenger attended a ‘souls to the polls’ event in Philadelphia that is part of a nationwide effort to organize black churchgoers to vote.
‘Every single day we’re seeing race-based disparities in every aspect of this virus,’ Biden told the crowd.
He declared that Trump’s handling of COVID-19 was ‘almost criminal’ and that the pandemic was a ‘mass casualty event in the black community’.
Biden’s running mate, Sen Kamala Harris, was in Georgia, a longtime Republican stronghold that Democrats believe could flip if black voters show up in force.
The first black woman on a major party’s presidential ticket, Harris encouraged a racially diverse crowd in a rapidly growing Atlanta suburb to ‘honor the ancestors’ by voting, invoking the memory of the late civil rights legend, longtime Rep John Lewis.
But even as 93 million Americans have cast ballots and election officials prepare to count, President Donald Trump was already threatening litigation to stop the tabulation of ballots arriving after Election Day.
As soon as polls closed in battlegrounds such as Pennsylvania, Trump said: ‘We’re going in with our lawyers.’
It was unclear precisely what Trump meant. There is already an appeal pending at the Supreme Court over the counting of absentee ballots in Pennsylvania that are received in the mail in the three days after the election.
The state’s top court ordered the extension and the Supreme Court refused to block it, though conservative justices expressed interest in taking up the propriety of the three added days after the election.
Those ballots are being kept separate in case the litigation goes forward. The issue could assume enormous importance if the late-arriving ballots could tip the outcome.
Biden is focusing on turning out black voters in the final stretch in part to avoid a narrow outcome that could prompt Trump to seek an advantage in the courts.
Biden has spent the final days of his campaign appealing to black communities to vote in-person during a pandemic that has disproportionally affected their communities, betting that a strong turnout will boost his chances in states that could decide the election