Rep. Clyburn: Obama Will Win Re-Election
The South Carolina lawmaker also talks about Herman Cain and voter suppression.
TR: Why the gridlock in Congress, and will there be movement on the American Jobs Act?
JC: I don't run the House of Representatives. If I were running the House, as I did for four years, we passed over 700 bills and sent them to the Senate. This is nothing new about Republicans filibustering progressive legislation, and I don't quite understand how people seem to forget all of that. So these guys are staying true to form: The president is putting forth a progressive agenda, and they're filibustering. Bill Clinton put forth an agenda, and Newt Gingrich tried to stop it.
TR: What is the solution?
JC: We've got to have a definitive election. The president has got to get re-elected in a very definitive way -- all that goes away.
TR: What do you think of recent disagreements among activists and talk-show hosts about how much African Americans should criticize the policies of the Obama administration?
JC: I don't know why people think that the president ought not be criticized by black people. Why shouldn't he be? I have constituents who criticize me. Black constituents criticize me, and so what? That's how it should be. I don't have a problem that people criticize the president, and I hope he wouldn't have a problem with people criticizing him. My skin ain't that thin. Really, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
TR: South Carolina, like many states across the country, has approved legislation requiring voters to produce a government-issued ID before casting ballots. Do you think, as some, including Bill Clinton, have said, that such laws make voting more difficult for the elderly, poor, minorities and students?
JC: The Justice Department ought not pre-clear any of that stuff. If they do pre-clear the South Carolina stuff, I'm going to criticize them. [Editor's note: Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, states with a history of discriminatory practices must have any changes in voting rules approved.] Under the South Carolina bill, if someone has a suspended driver's license, they will not be able to vote. What's that got to do with my right to vote, if I don't get my driver's license renewed? According to the law in South Carolina, that is not a valid ID because that is not a valid driver's license, and then I could not vote.
All this is a part of a national voter-suppression campaign being financed by the Koch brothers. Everybody knows that.
TR: What is your opinion of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations?