Clyburn: Bush told me I'm 'savior' for Biden endorsement

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said former President George W. Bush told him he’s “the savior” for endorsing President BidenJoe BidenMilitary must better understand sexual assaults to combat them The Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population On The Money: Democrats make full-court press on expanded child tax credit | White House confident Congress will raise debt ceiling MORE during the Democratic presidential primaries.

“George Bush said to me today, he said, ‘You know, you’re the savior because if you had not nominated Joe Biden, we would not be having this transfer of power today,’” Clyburn said on a press call with reporters when asked what he was thinking when Biden was taking his oath of office on Wednesday morning.

“He said to me that Joe Biden was the only one who could have defeated the incumbent president,” Clyburn said of Bush.


“And so that’s what I was thinking about sitting there today, that Emily lives on,” Clyburn said, referring to his late wife, Emily Clyburn, who died in September 2019.

James Clyburn, the No. 3 House Democrat, endorsed Biden in February ahead of the South Carolina primary.

His endorsement has been credited with helping Biden win that primary, as Black voters surged behind his candidacy.


Biden went on days later to score a series of victories on Super Tuesday.

At the time, Biden was faltering after lackluster showings in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.  

Clyburn said he was thinking about what his late wife told him in 2019 when about 20 Democratic presidential candidates attended a fish fry he hosted in his home state.

She couldn’t attend, the congressman said, because “she was beginning to lose her battle with diabetes.”

“That night after the fish fry, when I got home, I sat there to talk to her a little bit about the fish fry, and I said to her how difficult a primary we’re going to have because there were so many people in the race,” he said. “She said to me that night, no matter how many people are in this race, the best chance of winning the presidency is to nominate Joe Biden.”