By Ben Kamisar - 02/11/16 11:56 AM EST
The Congressional Black Caucus's Political Action Committee endorsed Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump: Muslim soldier was a hero but his father 'has no right' to criticize me Interim DNC chair to impose 'tough standards' after email leaks Mark Cuban campaigns for Clinton in hometown of Pittsburgh 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. ButterfieldEmphasis on diversity in Democratic convention lineup Congressional Black Caucus calls for peace after Baton Rouge Black caucus issues call to action MORE (D-N.C.) described the vote by the political action committee's board for Clinton as “overwhelming and near unanimous.”
“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 SandersInterim DNC chair to impose 'tough standards' after email leaks Meet the rising Dem star positioned to help Clinton on gun control Sunday shows preview: Convention cleanup, Russian intrigue 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.
Cong'l Black Caucus (CBC) has NOT endorsed in presidential. Separate CBCPAC endorsed withOUT input from CBC membership, including me.— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) February 11, 2016
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.