Clyburn Blames Bad Messaging and Racism for Democrats' Midterm Blues

Clyburn Blames Bad Messaging and Racism for Democrats' Midterm Blues

Rep. James Clyburn says that Democrats shouldn't run from its record or President Obama.

Published November 4, 2014

Six years ago, President Obama inherited a recession that many feared would turn into a depression. Unemployment numbers and the nation's debt had soared to all-time highs. He and his economic team made some choices that were unpopular at the time, but turned the economy around. The nation's unemployment rate is now below 6 percent and America's deficit has been halved. Thanks to Obamacare, millions of Americans are now insured and people with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage.

The list goes on, so why are Democrats in such deep trouble on Election Day?

According to Rep. James Clyburn, the No. 3 Democrat in the House, his party has failed to get its message across, which has enabled Republicans to make this midterm cycle a referendum on Obama.

"There are so many people who are afraid of being too closely identified with President Obama," Clyburn said in an interview on MSNBC on Monday. "I think [he] has a great record that was deserving of all of us running on in many states," he said.

Like Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, who landed in hot water over the weekend for saying that the South has not always been "the friendliest place for African-Americans," the South Carolina Democrat also suspects that racism has played a role in helping the GOP make gains this year.

“For anybody to say there’s nothing, that is nothing racial, about some of the stuff being expressed [about] President Obama you’re not telling the truth,” Clyburn said. “We know with a lot of people, I don’t care what he does. He’s not going to be acceptable because of his skin color.”

He doubled down on the issue in an appearance on the network's Morning Joe, arguing that "race is an issue that is always involved," and while more pronounced in the South, it is a factor around the nation.

"It's an American issue. It's been this way since the founding of the country. Let's just work on trying to get it behind us, not denying that it exists," he said.

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(Photo: Ron Sachs/Pool via CNP/Corbis)

Written by Joyce Jones

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