South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, the No. 3 House Democrat, told reporters Wednesday that former President George W. Bush hailed him as a "savior" at the inauguration of President Joe Biden, claiming that Bush said Biden was the only Democrat in the primary who could have beaten President Donald Trump.
But a Bush spokesman has called on observers to "not make this into more than it is."
What are the details?
Associated Press reporter Meg Kinnard reported Wednesday afternoon that "On a call with reporters just now, @WhipClyburn says ex-President Bush told him he's 'the savior' because of his role in helping Biden win the Democratic nomination. Clyburn says Bush went on to call Biden 'the only one who could have defeated the incumbent president.'"
Freddy Ford, chief of staff for President Bush reacted in a tweet, saying, "Let's not make this into more than it is. He was saying Clyburn helped saved Biden's nomination....nothing Biblical here."
Kinnard had pointed to an article she co-wrote in March last year that detailed how Clyburn's support of Biden has been credited with turning the tide in the former vice president's favor during the Democratic primaries that spring. Biden went on to win the nomination and ultimately, the presidency.
The piece states:
Biden handily won South Carolina, bested chief rival Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday and bumped rivals Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren out of the contest in one of the most muscular comebacks in presidential campaign history.
Who else did Bush do?
Politico noted that Bush "didn't support Trump's reelection bid in 2020 and voted for 'none-of-the-above' in 2016."
Bush issued a statement congratulating Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris shortly after they were declared winners of the 2020 election, calling for Americans to come together.
"Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country," he said.