South Carolina Democratic Rep. James Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representative, holds racism accountable for most of President Obama’s failures.
Clyburn was quoted by McClatchy Newspapers saying, “You know, I’m 70 years old. And I can tell you; people don’t like to deal with it, but the fact of the matter is, the president’s problems are in large measure because of the color of his skin.”
The congressman said that he is personally the victim of frequent racist comments; “We have the same skin color; that’s how it relates to him,” Clyburn said when pressed on the relevance of his personal experiences.
“When he sees his face being put on a chimpanzee’s body; do you think he didn’t see that?” Clyburn asked. “I suspect they send the same faxes to his office they send to mine.”
Clyburn specifically mentioned the “birther” conspiracy theories. “I don’t know why anybody didn’t ask for John McCain’s [birth certificate],” Clyburn said of the Arizona Senator, who was born in the Panama Canal Zone – then a U.S. territory – due to his father’s military service. “He wasn’t even born in this country.” In fact, during the 2008 race, McCain’s campaign was asked for the candidate’s birth certificate, and provided it.