South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn announced he will support former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday, giving the former veep a key endorsement ahead of a crucial primary.
Clyburn, the No. 3 Democrat in the House, is a longtime friend of Biden who worked closely with the Obama administration, The Associated Press reported.
“I can think of no one better suited, better prepared, I can think of no one with the integrity, no one more committed to the fundamental principles that make this country what it is than my good friend,” Clyburn said.
“I’m voting for Joe Biden. South Carolinians should be voting for Joe Biden. I know who he is, I know what he is. I know where this country is. We are at an inflection point,” he added.
“In South Carolina, we choose presidents,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’m calling on you to stand with @JoeBiden.”
Biden uses announcement to slam Bernie:
“Today, people are talking about a revolution,” Biden said at the announcement. “But what the country’s looking for are results. What they’re looking for is security. What they’re looking for is being able to sustain and maintain their dignity.”
Biden cited Clyburn’s work on the Obamacare bill to argue that Sanders wants to “start from scratch” with a single-payer system.
“What people are looking for is some hope, some reassurance, some notion that ‘I can take care of my family,’” Biden said.
Biden headed for close finish:
Biden led in South Carolina by nearly 30 points through much of the campaign but his lead has shrunk to as little as 4 percent in recent polls.
Biden leads the field with about 30% of the vote according to the RealClearPolitics polling average, despite polls showing his support among African-Americans, who make up the largest bloc of Democratic voters in the state, cratering.
Sanders is polling between 21-23% in every recent poll but the wild card is billionaire former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, who spent millions to flood the airwaves with ads in the state while other candidates were still focused on Iowa and New Hampshire.
Steyer is polling anywhere from 7% to 20% in the latest polls, with no other candidate in double-digits.