According to Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Epstein, Sen. Cory Booker mentioned the comment while introducing Clyburn to a crowd at a fundraiser for Biden’s presidential campaign.
“Introducing Joe Biden at tonight’s fundraiser in Detroit, Sen. Booker said that at a recent Congressional Black Caucus meeting, Majority Whip Jim Clyburn called Biden an ‘honorary black man,’” Epstein tweeted.
The tweet was picked up by TheGrio and Biden critics were not shy about their issues with the designation.
“We don’t have ‘honorary black men.’ If you can’t feel their fear when approached by a cop then NOPE. If your mama hasn’t had “the Talk” with you don’t get to be an ‘honorary black man.’ Can we stop this?” wrote one person.
“I don’t f–k with politics because honorary black man Joe Biden matters more than my actual black ass does to this country,” wrote one Black man.
“Joe Biden has Symone Sanders tackling protestors, Jim Clyburn and Cory Booker calling him an ‘honorary Black man’, etc. Many Black folks for Biden are doing A LOT,” said another person, referring to Biden campaign co-chair Symone Sanders. Last week, Sanders tackled an anti-dairy protester who jumped on stage during a speech, per Buzzfeed.
Clyburn and Biden have a well-documented friendship. The South Carolina congressman endorsed Biden for president on Feb. 26, and is credited with Biden’s victory in that state, reported CNN.
“I know Joe Biden. I know his character, his heart, and his record. Joe Biden has stood for the hard-working people of South Carolina. We know Joe. But more importantly, he knows us,” Clyburn tweeted. “In South Carolina, we choose presidents. I’m calling on you to stand with @JoeBiden.”
He reaffirmed his position at a press conference later in the day.
“I want the public to know that I am voting for Joe Biden. South Carolina should be voting for Joe Biden,” Clyburn said. The longtime representative said he was inspired to share his endorsement after he was approached by an elderly Black woman in church.
Biden praised Clyburn a few days later after Super Tuesday and used the endorsement to tout the diversity of his campaign.
“I was proud to be endorsed by Jim Clyburn, man, he is something else,” Biden said, according to The Hill. “Our campaign reflects the diversity of this party and this nation, because we need to bring everybody along. We want a nominee who will keep Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House and win back the United States Senate.”
On Monday, March 9, Booker also endorsed Biden. The New Jersey senator was running against Biden before he suspended his campaign in January.
“The answer to hatred & division is to reignite our spirit of common purpose. @JoeBiden won’t only win – he’ll show there’s more that unites us than divides us,” Booker tweeted. “He’ll restore honor to the Oval Office and tackle our most pressing challenges. That’s why I’m proud to endorse Joe.”