Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) told people attending a Joe Biden fundraiser on Monday that Majority Whip Jim Clyburn referred to Biden as an ‘honorary black man,” during a recent Congressional Black Caucus meeting.
According to The Grio, the fundraiser was held at the Detroit Athletic Club and included more than 350 people in attendance. Booker, who dropped out of the presidential race in January, has spent several days campaigning for Biden in Rust Belt states after endorsing him on Monday.
Clyburn served as Majority WHIP from 2007 to 2011 and previously served as the House Assistant Minority Leader from 2011 to 2019. Clyburn endorsed Biden in February and has been campaigning in the South for him since. He also advised Biden to pick an African American female as his running mate, touting Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams as potential candidates.
“I really believe that we’ve reached a point in this country where African American women need to be rewarded for the loyalty that they’ve given to this party,” Clyburn told NPR earlier this week.
However, others have pointed to Biden’s record showing that he wrote the 1994 crime bill that disproportionately sent African Americans to jail for minor drug offenses, which, they say, proves that Biden’s words do not reflect his actions. Biden has also been criticized for his treatment of Anita Hill, an African American law professor who accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Biden called Hill and apologized last year but Hill did not accept it, telling the New York Times last April that she could not be satisfied by Biden simply saying ‘I’m sorry for what happened to you.’
After stumbling out of the primary gate, Biden rode on the shoulders of black voters in the South to primary victories in Alabama and Arkansas last week and Michigan, Mississippi, and Missouri on Tuesday. Biden currently has a delegate lead of 838 to 691 over Bernie Sanders. The next states to hold primaries are Illinois, Florida and Arizona and Ohio on March 17.