On Thursday, the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee (CBC PAC) formally endorsed Hillary Clinton, but CBC PAC Chair Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) was quick to point out that the CBC PAC is “separate and apart from the Congressional Black Caucus.”
Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), the third-ranking House Democrat and CBC PAC board member, has not endorsed Clinton and Meeks said that Clyburn is such a “distinguished member of Congress” that “he should stand on his own… and he’ll make the decision… as Jim Clyburn…. and he’ll speak for himself.” Clyburn is the most prominent Congressional Black Caucus member who has not endorsed Clinton. But other significant members like Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) have not as well as Sanders and Clinton court black voters who make up a majority of South Carolina’s crucial first-in-the-South primary.
Meeks said the CBC PAC is the “political arm” of the Congressional Black Caucus that is focused on electing “Democrats around the country.” Meeks said the CBC PAC does not solely support African-American members and African-American candidates.
“We support candidates across the board who will help Democrats be in the majority,” he said. “As a result, we go around the country supporting candidates.”
Meeks said that in their deliberations, CBC PAC board members decided that “the partner the CBC PAC has had over the years to elect Democrats…. has been Hillary Clinton.”
Meeks praised Clinton for helping rally Democrats and for being an “outspoken person in regards to the empowerment of Democrats and the Democratic agenda in its entirety.” He also said that Clinton has helped Congressional Black Caucus members become chairs of subcommittees and “has been on the stump with us” throughout the years.
Meeks added Clinton has “helped this country be helping elect Democrats across the board.” Other CBC PAC members slammed Sanders on gun control, questioned Sanders’s ability to deliver on his promises like free college for all, and praised what they said were Clinton’s strengths on domestic and foreign policy issues.