South Carolina representative James Clyburn heard testimony Friday (July 31) from top U.S. health officials about the status of the coronavirus crisis.
During the hearing, Clyburn shared his views on providing economic relief to the most vulnerable Americans and slammed the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic, noting that “public health is not a partisan issue.”
Rep. Clyburn previously called Donald Trump a racist and compared his administration to Nazi Germany.
During Friday’s hearing, he also touched on the importance of having a Black woman on the Supreme Court more so than serving as Joe Biden's VP running mate, PBS reports. Speaking with MSNBC on Friday, Clyburn said Biden “needs a running mate with a lot of passion.”
“Joe Biden is a guy full of compassion. He has much more compassion than he exhibits passion. So he needs a running mate with a lot of passion to connect to voters. Biden has the greatest heart that I’ve ever encountered in politics. He is not a ‘rah rah’ guy that will motivate people. But he is the kind of guy you want to help put the policy together,” he said.
When asked by PBS reporter Judy Woodruff during the House hearing Friday if Biden should succumb to the pressure of selecting a Black woman as his running mate, Rep. Clyburn, who chairs the subcommittee, made clear his stance on the issue by reiterating previous comments that a “it would be a plus.”
“I do believe that it is a little bit foolhardy for us to be focusing on the vice presidential choice, rather than other things as well,” he added. “I long for an African American woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court. It's a shame that we have had three women to sit on the United States Supreme Court, and no one has ever given the kind of consideration that is due to an African American woman,” Clyburn continued. “That, to me, is priority.”
The congressman, who officially endorsed Joe Biden in February, went on to say that “The V.P. is good on style, but, on substance, give me an African American woman on the Supreme Court. That's where we determine how our democracy will be preserved.”
“This Supreme Court has neutered the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And so I am very concerned about the composition of the United States Supreme Court.”
Biden intends to announce his pick for running mate next week. Among the candidates he is reportedly considering, Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Reps. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Val Demings (D-Fla.) and former national security adviser Susan Rice, according to The Hill.