Democratic Majority Whip James Clyburn decried “sloganeering,” saying that it “cost Jamie Harrison” in his attempt to unseat Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Clyburn explained to Axios reporter Alexi McCammond that not all issues translated into slogans that would help Democratic candidates in every district, and the push to lump all Democrats together under progressive slogans like “defund the police” could have cost the party seats that might otherwise have flipped.
“We were not able to discipline ourselves…That phrase ‘defund the police’ cost Jaime Harrison tremendously…Stop sloganeering. Sloganeering kills people. Sloganeering destroys movements.” pic.twitter.com/daTCge6jab
— Axios (@axios) November 10, 2020
Clyburn began by responding to the losses in districts that many had expected Democrats to win — including several Senate seats. He said that Democrats had failed to stick to what worked in their specific districts and instead had allowed themselves to be painted with a broader brush that may have hurt them. (RELATED: ‘I Will Have To Pray For Them’: James Clyburn Suggests Black Trump Supporters Need Prayer)
“That phrase, ‘defund the police,’ cost Jamie Harrison tremendously. I’m not saying it’s the only problem,” Clyburn explained.
McCammond asked Clyburn whether he blamed the more progressive members of Congress for throwing their weight behind such movements, but he said it wasn’t about them — it was about members of his caucus being able to approach their own races practically and avoid adopting slogans that would not play well in their districts.
McCammond went on to ask Clyburn what advice he would give if he were to have a caucus meeting right then.
“Stop sloganeering. Sloganeering kills people. Sloganeering destroys movements. Stop sloganeering, and let’s go about the business of representing people and building hopes and aspirations for people,” he said.