Clyburn says some critics are using race to oppose his leadership bid

Clyburn says some critics are using race to oppose his leadership bid
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Rep. Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnDemocrats gauge support for vote on impeachment inquiry Nancy Pelosi is ready for this fight Young insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight MORE (D-S.C.) suggested on Tuesday that critics are using racially charged language to oppose his bid for House majority whip in the next Congress.

Clyburn, a leading member of the Congressional Black Caucus, told McClatchy that some people have suggested he has not been effective in his role as Democratic whip and that his position is a symbolic one.

“I don’t know where it’s all coming from,” Clyburn told McClatchy. “But someone came to me over the weekend and told me that (they heard), when I was whip before, I was a figurehead.”

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Clyburn did not name any names but likened the rhetoric to "little dog whistles."

Clyburn was the majority whip when Democrats controlled the House between 2007 and 2011. He is pursuing the same post, the third-ranking position in the party, for the next Congress.

He joins Reps. Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump-GOP tensions over Syria show signs of easing Democratic debate starts with immediate question on Trump impeachment White House, Pentagon, Giuliani reject House subpoenas MORE (D-Calif.) and Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Buttigieg targets Warren, Sanders on health care ahead of debate | Judge overturns ObamaCare transgender protections | Poll sees support drop for 'Medicare for All' Hillicon Valley: Google, Reddit to testify on tech industry protections | Trump joins Amazon-owned Twitch | House to vote on bill to combat foreign interference Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Judge blocks Trump 'public charge' rule | Appeals court skeptical of Trump arguments for Medicaid work requirements | CDC offers guidance for treating vaping-related cases MORE (D-Md.) in the push to keep the top leadership structure intact moving forward, despite calls for generational changes among some party members.

Rep. Diana DeGetteDiana Louise DeGetteA dozen House Democrats call on EU ambassador to resign amid Ukraine scandal FDA under pressure to move fast on vaping Lawmakers criticize EPA draft rule for curbing rights to challenge pollution permits MORE (D-Colo.) has launched a challenge against Clyburn for Democratic whip. She has served as chief deputy whip for more than a decade, and is touting her experience and the need to increase female representation on the leadership team.

Matt Inzeo, a spokesman for DeGette, denied to McClatchy that the congresswoman or her supporters were using racially based arguments to undermine Clyburn's candidacy.

Leadership elections are scheduled for Nov. 28.