Rep. Barbara Lee: ‘Clear firewall’ between Congressional Black Caucus and PAC backing Clinton
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) emphasized in an interview on Thursday that Hillary Clinton’s endorsement by the Congressional Black Caucus PAC does not constitute one from the caucus itself.
“The Congressional Black Caucus PAC is a PAC that supports candidates,” Lee told Democracy Now host Amy Goodman. “It raises money, and it helps candidates win elections. And there’s a clear distinction between that—as I said earlier, we have a Republican in the Congressional Black Caucus. That has nothing to do with the Congressional Black Caucus PAC.”
Lee added that she is not a member of the PAC, and repeated her assertion that “there’s a clear firewall. There’s a clear distinction.”
The congresswoman’s statement came shortly before fellow Rep. Keith Elison (D-MN) — who has endorsed Clinton’s Democratic primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) — responded to the PAC’s support of the former Secretary of State by stating on Twitter that caucus members were not consulted regarding the issue, as seen below:
Cong'l Black Caucus (CBC) has NOT endorsed in presidential. Separate CBCPAC endorsed withOUT input from CBC membership, including me.
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) February 11, 2016
“The point it that endorsements should be the product of a fair open process,” Ellison wrote. “Didn’t happen.”
Lee told Goldman that she has not made an endorsement yet.
“I don’t think my support really is that important at this point with regard to candidates,” she said, instead gushing over the caucuses’ other female members, as well as the group’s leader, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC).
Clyburn, Lee said, “represents many constituents, [and] really represents South Carolina, when you look at his constituency.”
As the Washington Post reported, Clyburn has not endorsed a candidate yet.
Watch Lee’s interview with Goodman, as aired on Thursday, below.