The PJ Tatler

Clyburn: White House Can Step Up Help for House Dems in November

Assistant House Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said his party is facing a midterm election challenge from a news cycle that is “getting smaller and smaller, quicker, quicker.”

“Therefore, it’s kind of tough to lay out the kind of vision you’d like to see, you know, for the country. Because you need to respond so often,” Clyburn told MSNBC this morning.

He said they’ll have “to really concentrate at the local levels” to get Democrats to show up to the polls in a non-presidential year.

“The fact of the matter is, we’re not gonna have a national ticket in most states. And so, what you gotta do is concentrate on the gubernatorial races and the Senate races,” Clyburn said. “I think we’ll have some surprises this year. I feel pretty good about those races.”

“…On minimum wage, I think that we will stay focused on that. We believe it’s important have a minimum wage increase. The fact of the matter is we’ve been at $7.25 now for, what, 10 years? It’s time for us to do something about that. Now, will it happen before the elections? I don’t think so… Because I don’t think that the Republicans feel that they will pay a price if they don’t.”

Clyburn was asked if the White House is pulling out all the stops to help House Dems. “Well, I don’t know if they’re doing everything they possibly can,” he replied. “But we will get there. I feel real good about where we are now.”

The congressman acknowledged Obama’s doing a lot of fundraising for his party, but “I do not believe that fundraising will be key in November. I think the organization will be key.”

“And if we can get the White House to come in, or at least the president’s political operations to help us at the state and local levels the way they did in Ohio and Florida — the mechanisms they put in place were just great… I’m gonna get on the phone and ask him.”