A leading congressional Democrat has called for the resignation of his party’s leadership if Democrats do not manage to take back House seats in this year’s midterm elections.
“If we’re still in the minority, all of us have got to go,” said Rep. James Clyburn (D- S.C.) in an interview with Politico.
Clyburn added that his party needs to have a “real assessment” of its leadership, whether they win or lose in November. He made the comments at an annual fish fry he hosted on Friday in Columbia, South Carolina. Over the years Clyburn's fish fry has morphed into what is now considered an important event for Democrats.
Clyburn, 77, is the assistant minority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives and the highest ranking African-American member of Congress. He has been the third-highest ranking Democrat in the House since 2006.
He echoed his comments in an interview he had with CNN: "I say all the time that we need to have young people and we need to have older people. We need to have strength, and we need to have experience.”
This year, Clyburn invited Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) to be the keynote speaker at his fish fry. Ryan challenged Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in 2016 for her role as House Minority Leader. He lost by a landslide vote of 134 to 63. Pelosi, Clyburn and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) have all been criticized by members of their own party, as Democrats have gone four elections cycles without retaking the House of Representatives.
Ryan praised Clyburn in an interview with Politico.
“Look at what he’s doing here in South Carolina,” he said. “Part of his genius is that he gets the fact that you’ve got to bring up young people.”
Clyburn has said that he considers Ryan to be a “good friend” and that he does not bear any ill will toward Ryan, despite being one of the people in Democratic leadership that Ryan would like to see replaced.
Democrats will need to pick up 23 additional seats, while keeping those they already have, if they want to regain the majority they lost in 2010.