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Biden gets key endorsement ahead of South Carolina primary

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 26, 2020 - Duration: 02:53s

Biden gets key endorsement ahead of South Carolina primary

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday secured the endorsement of James Clyburn, an influential black congressman from the early-voting state of South Carolina, which could prove pivotal to his White House bid.

This report produced by Zachary Goelman.

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Biden gets key endorsement ahead of South Carolina primary

(UPSOUND) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE JAMES CLYBURN, SAYING: "I want the public to know I'm voting for Joe Biden and South Carolina should vote for Joe Biden." The highest-ranking black lawmaker in Congress on Wednesday weighed in on the Democratic presidential nominating contest.

South Carolina Representative and Democratic Majority Whip James Clyburn endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden ahead of that state's primary on Saturday.

(UPSOUND) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE JAMES CLYBURN, SAYING: "I know Joe.

We know Joe.

But most importantly, Joe knows us." And Joe Biden is banking on black voters - and the endorsements of black leaders such as Clyburn - to help him win his first decisive victory of 2020 and reinvigorate his lagging campaign.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOE BIDEN, SAYING: "South Carolina chooses presidents." Biden, who was once the front-runner in the Democratic field, is now third in overall delegates behind Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOE BIDEN, SAYING: "And I'm here, heart and soul, with everything I've got, to earn the support of the people of South Carolina." He's staked his campaign on the outcome of the South Carolina contest, where African-Americans make up about sixty percent of registered Democrats.

It's seen as do-or-die for the man who stood alongside President Barack Obama for eight years.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOE BIDEN, SAYING: "The fact of the matter is Barack - I call him Barack because I do not want to confuse him with the president - but he is my friend." But Biden will have to battle his rivals for every vote here.

On Wednesday the candidates' forum was Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network in Charleston.

Buttigieg observed this about the debate the night before: (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE PETE BUTTIGIEG, SAYING: "Last night there was a discussion of racial justice among seven white candidates standing on a debate stage.

It was hard to miss." The candidate to beat appears to be the self-proclaimed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BERNIE SANDERS, SAYING: "Dr. King talked about socialism during his life What he said back then resonates today, "this country has socialism for the rich and rugged individualism for the poor."" The Vermont senator's commanding victory in Nevada over the weekend showed he had the support of young and Latino voters in that state.

And a Reuters-Ipsos poll this week showed Sanders has eclipsed Biden in African-American support nationwide.

Twenty-six percent of black Democratic and independent respondents said Sanders was their preferred candidate.

Twenty-three percent picked Biden.

South Carolina holds its primary contest Saturday, then on March 3, also known as Super Tuesday, 14 states vote in primary contests.

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