The South Carolina Democrat told MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell that West’s candidacy is an attempt to siphon votes away from Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee.
“I don’t think there’s any question about that,” he said.
“We saw what was going on in Wisconsin where he was getting help getting on the ballot. But African Americans, most especially, know what this campaign is all about.”
West — who announced his presidential bid in July — has been fighting to get on the ballot in battlegrounds states. President Donald Trump won a number of key states in 2016, when he bested former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In the state of Wisconsin, for instance, Trump beat Clinton by less than 30,000 votes.
According to Clyburn, history will not repeat itself.
“We’ve seen this before,” he said.
“We fell victim to it when we didn’t know where it was coming from or what was going on — we’re not going to make that mistake again. We ain’t going to be shamed in this election,” Clyburn added.
This year, the commander-in-chief appears to be in a much more difficult position. Most polling suggests that he is trailing Biden nationwide and in battlegrounds such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida.
Reports suggest that West’s candidacy is indeed an attempt to take votes from Biden. Per The New York Times, several GOP activists are working to help the rapper appear on the ballot in key states.
Lane Ruhland — a lawyer who has worked for the Trump campaign and the Republican Party — and at least five other Republican operatives now reportedly work for West.
The rapper has missed the deadline to compete in many states across the nation, which essentially means that he has no path to victory. He could, however, play the spoiler role in the 2020 presidential election, especially if those supportive of his candidacy decide to write-in his name instead of voting for either of the major party candidates.
In a recent interview, West refused to deny that he is running a spoiler campaign with the goal of helping Trump win reelection.
During a press conference earlier this week, Trump appeared to dodge questions about the alleged collaboration between West and GOP officials, but he made sure to praise the musician and his wife, Kim Kardashian.
Trump pointed out that West “has always been very nice” to him.