House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., said Sunday that his decision to stay in Democratic leadership is “biblical” to him, despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s call for a “new generation” to take the helm.
CBS News “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan asked Clyburn why, given Pelosi’s comments, did he “think it’s necessary” to stay in power.
“I’ve always said there is a healthy respect – it’s biblical with me – we need to have a healthy blend of strength and knowledge,” Clyburn responded. “And look at leadership: the South is left out of it. And what I’m doing is trying to make sure that we do not tilt too far to the east or too far to the west, but maintain what we have here.”
“There’s no other southerner among the leadership, and we need the South,” he added.
Pelosi announced earlier this month that she will not seek re-election as leader of the House Democratic Conference after nearly 20 years at the helm, after Democrats narrowly lost the majority in the chamber during the midterm elections.
“With great confidence in our caucus, I will not seek re-election to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” Pelosi said during a Nov. 17 floor speech. “For me, the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect, and I’m grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility.”
Pelosi’s most likely successor appears to be House Democratic Conference Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, who already has the backing of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Clyburn said after Pelosi’s announcement that he will become the House Assistant Democratic Leader in the new Congress.
“This election cycle, the American people made their voices heard and Democrats exceeded expectations. As we set about the work of building on our accomplishments, I’m ready to remain at the leadership table as the Assistant Democratic Leader,” Clyburn said in a Nov. 18 statement.