Black lawmaker PAC backs Clinton

Black lawmaker PAC backs Clinton
© Greg Nash

The Congressional Black Caucus's Political Action Committee endorsed Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonObama's speech proves hypocrisy of Democrat's anti-Wall Street rhetoric Lawmakers targeted as district politics shift Want a tremendous deal on infrastructure spending? Suspend Davis-Bacon MORE on Thursday in a move that could help the White House hopeful ahead of the Feb. 27 Democratic South Carolina primary.

CBC Chairman G.K. ButterfieldG.K. ButterfieldOvernight Tech: Lawmakers clash over privacy repeal | FCC gets new office on economic data | Facebook cracks down on revenge porn Overnight Tech: New office at the FCC | Lawmakers get feisty over privacy at hearing | Facebook cracks down on revenge porn FCC defends not fighting legal challenge to prison call rates MORE (D-N.C.) described the vote by the political action committee's board for Clinton as “overwhelming and near unanimous.”

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“We must have a president who is knowledgeable on both domestic and foreign policy. Our new president must understand that too many Americans languish in persistent poverty every day,” he told reporters at a press conference at the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

“There is no question in my mind and in our mind that one single candidate, one, possesses the qualifications, experience and temperament to be the next president of the United States and that person is none other than Sec. Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

The former secretary of State is seeking to rebound from her Tuesday defeat to Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemanding transparency and fairness from Trump tax plan Overnight Energy: Trump orders review of national monuments, claiming ‘egregious abuse’ Dem rep: Trump's tax plan as believable as 'magic, unicorns or Batman' MORE (I-Vt.) in New Hampshire with wins in the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 20, and then in South Carolina’s primary.

Black voters will be a force in South Carolina, and Clinton and Sanders have been battling to win over African-Americans in recent weeks.

That fight is intensifying after the New Hampshire results.

Clinton is seen as having a huge advantage over Sanders in terms of black support; about 10 black lawmakers attended the press conference.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a CBC member who has endorsed Sanders, emphasized on Twitter that the PAC's endorsement is separate from the CBC coalition of members in Congress, which hasn't endorsed.

And he noted that the endorsement came from its board without consultation from CBC membership.

Clinton surrogates in a Tuesday call argued that Sanders has not been as active in fighting racial injustice as Sanders, and sought to portray him as “absent” on those issues.  

“To be very frank, I never saw him, I never met him,” said Rep. John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat and civil rights figure.

“I chaired the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee for three years, from 1963-1966. I was involved in sit-ins, Freedom Rides, the March on Washington, the March from Selma to Montgomery ... but I met Hillary Clinton, I met President Clinton.”

--Updated at 3:30 p.m.