Clyburn: 'No question' Kanye West effort is attempt to take votes from Biden

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) put Kanye WestKanye Omari WestAmazon's shutdown of Parler is a threat to all small businesses 2020's top political celebrity moments Think small business relief was a 'Success'? Ask businesses in communities of color MORE's last-minute 2020 presidential bid on blast Friday, saying that the ultimate goal is just to siphon votes away from former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFive examples of media's sycophancy for Biden on inauguration week Drastic measures for drastic times — caregiver need mobile health apps Boycott sham impeachment MORE in November.

"I don't think there's any question about that," Clyburn told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell. "We saw what was going on in Wisconsin where he was getting help getting on the ballot. But African Americans, most especially, know what this campaign is all about."


Several of the political operatives that have been aiding West in his efforts to appear on state ballots have ties to Republican politics, leading some observers to conclude they are actually seeking to assist President TrumpDonald TrumpMore than two-thirds of Americans approve of Biden's coronavirus response: poll Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor Mexico's president tests positive for COVID-19 MORE.

West has been fighting to get on the ballot in key battleground states such as Wisconsin and Ohio, both of which Trump won in 2016. Wisconsin — like several of the states that Trump was able to flip from blue to red — was tightly contested, with the president beating former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden must wait weekend for State Department pick Texas Supreme Court rejects Alex Jones request to toss lawsuits from Sandy Hook parents Paris Agreement: Biden's chance to restore international standing MORE by less that 30,000 votes.

"We've seen this before," said Clyburn, whose endorsement of Biden ahead of the South Carolina primary marked the beginning of his surge toward the Democratic nomination. "We fell victim to it when we didn't know where it was coming from or what was going on — we're not going to make that mistake again. We ain't going to be shamed in this election."


RealClearPolitics's aggregation of polls have Biden leading Trump in all of the key battleground states currently, including Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan.

Clyburn's interview with Mitchell was wide-ranging, and he also spoke to the ongoing sweepstakes to become Biden's running mate.

A decision from the Biden campaign is expected within days. At the top of the shortlist appear to be Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), former national security adviser Susan RiceSusan RicePresidential Twitter account follows Chrissy Teigen Biden signs executive order rescinding controversial 1776 Commission Biden to nix border wall, 'Muslim ban' on first day in office MORE and Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.). If chosen, each of them would make history as the first Black woman to be a vice presidential nominee.

"[Harris] has a lot of passion, no question about that. There are several others," Clyburn said. "Karen is a very passionate person, and she has background and experiences running. ... I think those women that are being talked about are all real good people. Now, Susan Rice, a lot of passion, in fact a lot of people hold her passion against her — her language gets salty sometimes and people say that's too much passion."

Additionally, Clyburn defended recent comments Biden made about Black and Latino communities.


"What you all know, but most people don’t know, unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community, with incredibly different attitudes about different things,” Biden told a panel of Black and Latino journalists Wednesday.

His comments were quickly jumped on by Trump and his campaign; Trump campaign senior adviser Katrina Pierson framed his words as "white liberal racism."

Biden sought to clarify his statements Thursday night and Clyburn did the same.

"He was talking about the diversity of not just the communities but continents," Clyburn explained. "You bring those backgrounds and experiences into discussion and you don't have the same set of experiences you would have if you didn't have this kind of diversity."