John Lewis endorses Biden




  • In Politics
  • 2020-04-07 09:30:26Z
  • By Politico
 

Civil rights icon John Lewis endorsed Joe Biden Tuesday, becoming the 38th member of the Congressional Black Caucus to officially back the former vice president's campaign for the Democratic nomination.

In announcing his support, Lewis paired his endorsement with a public recommendation that Biden pick a woman of color as a running mate.

"I think Vice President Biden should look around. It would be good to have a woman of color," Lewis said on a conference call to tout his endorsement with reporters when asked about the subject.

Though the Atlanta-area congressman didn't make an explicit demand, his comments reflected a broad sentiment among African-American leaders and activists who point out that Biden was catapulted into his frontrunner status thanks to the overwhelming support of black voters during the presidential primary. And Biden will need strong black turnout to win in November.

The announcement from Lewis comes at an uncertain time in the primary campaign: the day that Wisconsin is scheduled to have its primary amid widespread fears of the coronavirus contagion, which has led the Democratic governor to call for a delay to accommodate an all-mail election. Republicans opposed the move.

Democrats and activists say Wisconsin's absentee ballot system has failed and, coupled with precinct closures and worries of getting sick, stands to disproportionately affected black voters in the crucial swing state's biggest county, Milwaukee. Without strong African-American turnout in the upcoming general election, Democrats worry they could again lose the state by the narrowest of margins along with other swing states like Florida and Michigan.

Lewis said lawmakers need to plan for elections that account for the coronavirus and "make it easy and simple and convenient" for voters to cast ballots.

"I'm worried about whether we're going to be able to have a free and clean election," Lewis said. "I just hope that, in spite of whatever's going on now, that people would not be afraid to come out and vote."

Biden has urged people to mail-in ballots. As for his vice presidential search, he acknowledged Sunday that he spoke with opponent Bernie Sanders about moving forward with a running mate selection before the primary was over. Biden last month announced he'd have a female running mate but didn't commit to choosing a woman of color - although early on in the campaign he said that California Sen. Kamala Harris would be a possible pick.

" Black women have clearly demonstrated both their commitment to the Democratic Party and their commitment to removing Donald Trump from office since the 2016 election. But to be clear, thoerse two things are linked in Black women's political calculations," Adrianne Shropshire, executive director of BlackPAC, said in an email. "The selection of a Black woman as VP would obviously serve as an acknowledgment of Black women's commitment to correcting the current trajectory of our democracy."

Rep. Jim Clyburn, the South Carolina Democratic lead whose endorsement helped Biden secure his first win in South Carolina on Feb. 29, similarly said he would "prefer an African American woman." But like Lewis, he didn't issue a demand.

Lewis, who is 80 and in poor health, pledged to travel the country to drive up support for Biden, particularly among black voters. He described Biden as "a friend, a dear friend. He is a man of courage, a man with a great conscience, a man of faith."

One way to increase turnout with African-American voters is for Biden to pick a black woman running mate, said Quentin James, executive director of The Collective, a super PAC that advocates for African-American candidates. He noted that Biden's support of the 1994 crime bill is a turnoff for young black voters who aren't impressed enough that Biden served as the loyal wingman to the first black president, Barack Obama.

"Black voters bailed him out and he's the architect of the most destructive piece of legislation that devastated the black family," James said.

When asked about Biden's relatively low support among young black voters, Lewis said they need to learn history about how activists like him in the 1960s were beaten and jailed for the right to vote.

"People died for the right to vote," Lewis said. "If we fail to vote, we don't count."

COMMENTS

More Related News

Out of the house: Democrat Biden makes first campaign stop in weeks
Out of the house: Democrat Biden makes first campaign stop in weeks
  • US
  • 2020-05-25 15:55:41Z

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday made his first campaign trip outside his Delaware home since quarantining himself due to the coronavirus pandemic 10 weeks ago, visiting a nearby veterans memorial to mark the U.S. Memorial Day holiday. Biden, the prospective Democratic presidential nominee, and his wife, Jill, both wearing black masks, laid a wreath of white roses at a memorial for U.S. military personnel who fought in World War Two and the Korean War. "It feels good to be out of my house," Biden told reporters, his speech slightly muffled by the mask.

Trump Flips Out After Biden Ad Rips Him For Golfing Amid Growing Death Toll
Trump Flips Out After Biden Ad Rips Him For Golfing Amid Growing Death Toll

Trump golfed twice over the weekend as the coronavirus death toll in the United States approached 100,000.

Trump Sows Doubt on Voting. It Keeps Some People Up at Night.
Trump Sows Doubt on Voting. It Keeps Some People Up at Night.

WASHINGTON -- In October, President Donald Trump declares a state of emergency in major cities in battleground states, like Milwaukee and Detroit, banning polling places from opening.A week before the election, Attorney General William Barr announces a criminal investigation into the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden.After Biden wins a narrow Electoral College victory, Trump refuses to accept the results, won't leave the White House and declines to allow the Biden transition team customary access to agencies before the Jan. 20 inauguration.Far-fetched conspiracy theories? Not to a group of worst-case scenario planners -- mostly Democrats, but some anti-Trump Republicans as well...

Black activists warn Biden: Don
Black activists warn Biden: Don't pick Klobuchar as VP

The Minnesota senator and former prosecutor has problems with communities of colors that another top white contender, Elizabeth Warren, does not.

Barack Obama poised to add his star appeal to Joe Biden
Barack Obama poised to add his star appeal to Joe Biden's campaign

The former president, the most popular politician in America with a huge social media following, can bolster the Democratic nominee with key groups and drive voter registrationFormer president Barack Obama has dipped his toes into the 2020 presidential campaign recently and is positioned to do more in the coming months as Joe Biden's effort to defeat Donald Trump gathers steam.Interviews with about a dozen Democratic strategists, party officials and people close to Obama want the popular former president utilizing his powerful online presence and focusing on rallying key Democrat constituencies that are critical to a Biden victory.Obama is regarded as one of the most popular politicians...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Politics