Clyburn: Demings 'under serious consideration' for Biden's VP, her work as police chief is an asset

Clyburn addressed Demings' experience in law enforcement: 'I don't hold that against her. I've said that to the Vice President and some of his people'

Updated: August 3, 2020 - 2:28pm

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Democratic Rep. James Clyburn, the House majority whip, said Monday that Florida Democratic Rep. Val Demings is under "serious consideration" for the party's vice presidential nomination and that he personally told presidential candidate Joe Biden that Demings' law enforcement background should not be held against her.

"I've known her for a long time before she became police chief down there," Clyburn said during a discussion organized by the Council on Foreign Relations.

"I was there, a big supporter of hers when she ran for Congress the first time. You may remember, her district got reconfigured while she was in it and it was made almost impossible for her to win. But she stuck it out and she took the loss and did not give up and came back and won the next time. I think she's a fantastic person," the influential South Carolina congressmen also said.

Clyburn spoke amid the ongoing protests across the U.S. about police brutality, following the May 25 death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police. 

Clyburn said he gets "very upset" when people tell him that Demings should be disqualified from the vice presidential search because of her law enforcement background as a former police chief of the Orlando Police Department.

"I think it's a shame. If you ask people to go into law enforcement, and they excel at what they do, working all the way up to become the chief of police. That's what we want – most people of color as chiefs of police," he said.

"No, I don't hold that against her. I've said that to the Vice President and some of his people. I think that she's under serious consideration and she ought to be," Clyburn also said.

Clyburn’s endorsement helped deliver the African-American vote for Biden in his South Carolina primary victory. In the following weeks, Biden surged ahead of his primary contenders toward the nomination. 

 

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