Rep. Jim Clyburn says he would support a 'mini-primary' before DNC if Biden drops out of presidential race

“You can actually fashion the process that’s already in place to make it a mini-primary, and I would support that absolutely. "


Representative Jim Clyburn, a top ally and supporter of President Joe Biden, stated on Wednesday that if Biden were to drop out of the 2024 election race, there would likely be a "mini-primary" ahead of the Democratic National Convention. This mini-primary would feature Vice President Kamala Harris and several Democratic governors vying for the nomination.

Clyburn made these comments when asked by CNN if Harris would be the party's automatic nominee if Biden steps down or if there would be a mini-primary between candidates.

“Well, I think we’re going to have a mini-primary leading into the convention,” Clyburn explained. “You can actually fashion the process that’s already in place to make it a mini-primary, and I would support that absolutely. We can’t close that down, and we should open up everything for the general election.”

Following his remarks, a spokesperson for Clyburn clarified to Politico that the congressman was answering a "hypothetical question" and wasn't suggesting this would happen.

“It is quite obvious that Congressman Clyburn was responding to a hypothetical question,” said spokesperson Brianna Frias. “He was not calling for a ‘mini primary.’ Instead, he was explaining the existing process. The Congressman fully supports President Biden at the top of the ticket and it would be irresponsible to report anything otherwise.”

These comments come amid ongoing speculation about whether or not Biden will drop out of the race. Many wonder who would be the nominee if Biden steps down, as Kamala Harris, despite being the vice president, has faced poll numbers sometimes worse than Biden's. This situation leaves many thinking she would not have strong support either, and the instability of changing candidates could hurt the party even more.

Clyburn, who has been a strong supporter of Biden’s campaign and was pivotal in Biden’s election win in 2020, was even among those who conceded Biden’s debate performance was “concerning.” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre acknowledged these concerns among the general public and attempted to downplay them on Tuesday.

“We get what Americans are feeling. That’s why [Biden is] acknowledging he’s not a young man, that’s why he’s acknowledging he’s a little slower than he used to be in walking and not as smooth in speaking,” Jean-Pierre said.

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