U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn of Columbia said he’s considering endorsing Hillary Clinton before South Carolina’s Democratic presidential primary.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Clyburn said he’s feeling pressure from Clinton supporters – including his wife and one of his daughters – not to stay neutral in the campaign, as he previously planned to do.
Clyburn also said the Congressional Black Caucus plans to endorse Clinton, but is holding off at Clyburn’s request.
Clyburn told The State recently that he did not want the caucus to do anything that could harm South Carolina’s status as the first-in-the-South Democratic presidential primary.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The State
He told Washington Post on Tuesday that he could not see himself going against the caucus, which leaves him with the option of remaining neutral or endorsing Clinton.
Clyburn said endorsing U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont was implausible, the Post reported.
Last week, Clyburn would not say which way his support would go. But he has said that Sanders' chances in South Carolina are slim.
The U.S. senator needed "a blowout" in Iowa to get S.C. voters to give him a second look, Clyburn told The State after Iowa's caucus, adding, "I don't think he changed the landscape in South Carolina at all."
Clyburn told the Post that “whatever happens in New Hampshire ... It won’t matter a whole lot.”
Backing from the state’s highest-ranking Democrat would be a big win for Clinton whose 2008 primary run in South Carolina ended in a falling out with Clyburn.
The race was heated as then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama gained support in the Palmetto State.
Former President Bill Clinton was accused of dismissing Obama’s win because he was black, saying another black presidential candidate, the Rev. Jesse Jackson won the S.C. primaries in 1984 and 1988.
Clyburn said in his 2014 memoir that Bill Clinton called him on the night of the 2008 primary and blamed him for his wife’s loss, quoting the former president as saying, “If you bastards want a fight, you damn well will get one.”
Regarding the incident eight years ago, Clyburn has said he had no hard feelings toward the Clintons.