'Oh yeah, we can. Will we? I'm not sure': Rep. Clyburn on if Dems can beat Trump

Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., and South Carolina voters tell Martha Raddatz what they think as the 2020 race descends on their state.
6:20 | 02/16/20

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Transcript for 'Oh yeah, we can. Will we? I'm not sure': Rep. Clyburn on if Dems can beat Trump
This week, we hit the ground in South Carolina, that primary just two weeks away, and the former longtime front-runner Joe Biden staking his campaign on the prospect of minority voters delivering him a victory that could change the narrative after Iowa and New Hampshire. It's the first in the south primary, where black voters for the first time in this election cycle will be the overwhelming majority, expected to cast up two-thirds of all ballots in the February 29th primary. For Joe Biden, it could be do or die, after serving as Barack Obama's vice president, Biden's strong connection to minority voters has made this state key to his nomination strategy. He still leads in the polls and has the lion's share of endorsements here, but after lackluster finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, his supporters are doing everything they can to make sure he has a strong finish. We ask you god to please put your arms around vice president Biden and all of the other candidates, all of them. Reporter: What this group of one hundred black females is about is activism, the self-proclaimed reckoning crew, whose oldest member is 94, is giving heart and soul to the Biden campaign. If you want to read through it first -- be confident when you're talking to them. Reporter: As their name suggests they're not to be trifled with. I'm calling to see if you're planning to support Joe bide in 2020 South Carolina primary? Well, thank you very much. All righty, thank you. Bye-bye. So that sounded like a successful one for you. Yes, it was. He or she at least said -- Okay. Reporter: Right now, there's a solid wall of support for the former vice president but if that's not in the cards -- what about somebody like Amy klobuchar, Pete buttigieg, Michael Bloomberg? All would be better than what we have but vice president Joe Biden, I think he has the guts and also the experience. Reporter: In the chamber of the statehouse, state rep Todd Rutherford who has been in office since 1998 worries Biden's experience isn't enough to beat Donald Trump so he's leaning towards Michael Bloomberg. This year is different. This is not about Democrats falling in love, this about Democrats making sure that Donald Trump is no longer president. He keeps saying I can win South Carolina, I am electable, Yo just don't buy that? It sounds like an excuse. He appears to be a step behind. He's not saying the things we need to hear. Do you really think that Democrats can beat him? Oh, yeah. We can. Will we? Reporter: If anyone can be considered a kingmaker in south Carolina, it's congressman and majority W.H.I.P. James Clyburn. He's represented the state for more than two decades. Each presidential election cycle Clyburn has a can't-miss fish fry for national candidates to introduce themselves to south carolinians. He has yet to endorse any of the candidates this year. Tell me what's more important, issues that affect African-Americans or I don't care who it is as long as they beat Donald Trump? There's a combination of both. Sure we want to defeat Donald Trump. Losing, redistricting, which will be taking place two years from now, what have we gotten? I think that for us to maintain our down ballot -- that has to come into the equation, sure Donald Trump is -- Donald Trump said it's been great for African-Americans and employment, he certainly has some African-American backing. That is 1 of the 31 lies he told during that state of the union address. The fact of the matter is, I talked to African-Americans, I go to church with them and I know they're not doing better. If you're working three jobs, I told someone earlier today, and I mean this, if you go with the unemployment numbers to determine people's status, then you have to say that slavery was in very good shape because they were fully employed. Reporter: Even though Clyburn isn't publicly picking favorites, his grandson appears in an ad for Pete buttigieg. He's the change we need. Reporter: But the biggest surprise in South Carolina has been the support that billionaire businessman Tom Steyer is attracting. After spending more than $14 million in advertising here, and lots of face time, Steyer is polling second among black voters. The chair of the South Carolina democratic black caucus is convinced Steyer can win. We have watched Tom Steyer's numbers here in South Carolina really seemed to have a surge, how have you done it? I hate to say it was predictable but it was. I guess the shortest answer is that Tom Steyer listens and that probably trumps everything. Reporter: There's only one issue that matters for him. Here's the one that stop Steyer has that the other candidates don't have, he doesn't have a record of being taken offensive actions and supporting offensive policies against the African-American community and that includes Biden and that crime act of 1974. That includes Bloomberg with his stop and frisk. That includes Amy klobuchar as a prosecutor. It includes a whole host of

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