Democrat James Clyburn Worries That The Term ‘Socialist’ Will ‘Burden’ Democrats

On Sunday, Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) appeared on ABC’s “This Week” with host George Stephanopoulos to discuss the Nevada caucus results, as well as the ongoing Democratic primary race.

Stephanopoulos first asked Clyburn if he believes the Nevada results will have an impact on the upcoming primary in South Carolina.

Clyburn replied, saying that while he believes Nevada’s caucus results will make some impact, the state of South Carolina has its own demographic purpose in the Democratic primary season:

I do believe, however, though, that South Carolinians know why they’re in this pre-primary window. We got in the window because of the demographics of the state and the demographics of the Democratic electorate. And we think we reflect that, and we really believe that now that the West and the Midwest and the Northeast have had their say, we are going to let people know how we feel about these candidates. And it may not line up with Nevada or New Hampshire or Iowa.

Stephanopoulos then asked Clyburn if he would hold off on making his endorsement until after the Democratic debate on Tuesday, which he has promised to do. The representative said that he will indeed not make his preference known until after the debate.

“I want to maintain our first in the South primary status, but on Wednesday morning, I will let my choice be known,” Clyburn said. “I’ve been asked about it by too many people, and I think I would be dishonorable if I did not tell people exactly what I feel about the candidacy of all of our candidates.”

After a back-and-forth the about when the make-or-break moment for former Vice President Joe Biden will be – South Carolina or Super Tuesday – Stephanopoulos asked Clyburn specifically about Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, as far as Bernie Sanders goes, he built out that coalition in the state of Nevada, broader coalition than he had in New Hampshire and in Iowa. But you’re already starting to see these attacks for his background as a Democratic socialist.

How deep will that cut in South Carolina? And if he’s the nominee, do you think it could put the House majority in danger?

CLYBURN: A lot of people think so. I do believe it will be an extra burden for us to have to carry. This is South Carolina, and South Carolinians are pretty leery about that title, socialist. And so I think that that would be a real burden for us in these states or congressional districts that we have to do well in.

If you look at how well we did the last time, and look at the congressional districts, these were not liberal or what you might call progressive districts. These were basically moderate and conservative districts that we did well in. And in those districts, it’s going to be tough to hold onto these jobs if you have to make the case for accepting a self-proclaimed Democratic socialist.

During the campaign, Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed plans that would drastically expand the scope of the federal government, and would require extraordinary amounts of taxpayer money to be funded.

As The Daily Wire previously reported, Sanders’ Medicare for All health care system is estimated to cost approximately $32 trillion over a decade. His personal Green New Deal (apparently differentiated from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s version, which he supported) would cost $16.3 trillion, according to Sanders’ own website. His plans to eliminate student loan debt and college tuition would cost an initial $1.6 trillion, then roughly $48 billion annually, says the campaign website.

Sanders even believes in public ownership of utilities.

Despite what some in the progressive press claim, socialism isn’t very popular among Americans.

Gallup recently asked: “Between now and the 2020 political conventions, there will be discussion about the qualifications of presidential candidates – their education, age, religion, race and so on. If your party nominated a generally well-qualified person for president who happened to be [characteristic], would you vote for that person?”

When “socialist” was inserted, 45% of respondents said they would vote for the given candidate.

When broken down by party affiliation, the results are about what one would expect. 76% of self-identified Democrats, 45% of self-identified Independents, and 17% of self-identified Republicans would vote for a candidate who “happened to be socialist.”

As far as approval of socialism overall, the numbers are even lower. According to a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, only 28% of respondents viewed socialism favorably, while 58% of respondents had a unfavorable view of socialism.

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