Black lawmaker PAC backs Clinton

Black lawmaker PAC backs Clinton
© Greg Nash

The Congressional Black Caucus's Political Action Committee endorsed Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhy Trump's bigoted tropes won't work in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet GOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm 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. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldNancy Pelosi fends off impeachment wave — for now House Democrats press leaders to start Trump impeachment WHIP LIST: The 83 House Democrats backing an impeachment inquiry 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 SandersWarren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' Sanders slams decision not to charge officer who killed Eric Garner Cardi B says voters let Bernie Sanders down 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 EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonFormer Sanders aides launch consulting firm Minnesota AG will defend state's abortion restrictions despite personal views Hillicon Valley: House panel advances election security bill | GOP senator targets YouTube with bill on child exploitation | Hicks told Congress Trump camp felt 'relief' after release of Clinton docs | Commerce blacklists five Chinese tech groups MORE (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 LewisJohn LewisKatherine Clark quietly eyes leadership ascent Democratic lawmaker says officials tried to keep her from migrant girls during facility tour Democratic outrage grows over conditions at border detention centers MORE, 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.