Clyburn Delivers Emotional Endorsement Of Biden Just Before Critical SC Primary

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA - JUNE 21: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden greets Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) speaks at Clyburn’s “World Famous Fish Fry” on June 21, 2019 in Columbia, Sou... COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA - JUNE 21: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden greets Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) speaks at Clyburn’s “World Famous Fish Fry” on June 21, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina. Twenty-two Democratic presidential candidates are scheduled to appear in South Carolina this weekend as the state Democratic party hosts its annual convention. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) MORE LESS

Former Vice President Joe Biden won an endorsement from Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) Wednesday, a critical player in a state Biden dearly wants to win.

His voice choked with emotion, Clyburn opened his remarks with memories of his late wife.

“We often talked about the leadership of this country,” he said from a lectern festooned with Biden signs. “And there’s nobody who Emily loved as a leader in this country more than she loved Joe Biden.”

He recalled an elderly lady beckoning him over at a funeral, encouraging him to tell the community who he was supporting.

“I want the public to know that I’m voting for Joe Biden,” he said. “And South Carolina should be voting for Joe Biden.”

Biden has long hung his hat on South Carolina with its heavily black electorate, and is hoping to gain some momentum from a win in the Palmetto State. Clyburn, the House majority whip, wields enormous influence in the state.

“We know Joe,” Clyburn said. “But most importantly, Joe knows us.”

Clyburn infused his words with a note of urgency, saying that the country has reached an “inflection point.” He described being jailed during his heroic efforts on the front lines of the civil rights movement, but how he never feared for the future of the country until now.

“It is time for us to restore this country’s dignity — this country’s respect,” he intoned, calling up to the stage the former Vice President, the man he believes has the “integrity” needed to get it done.

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