James Clyburn says George W Bush called him election ‘saviour’ for helping secure Biden’s nomination

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Alex Woodward
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Former Republican president George W Bush said Joe Biden was the “only one who could have defeated” Donald Trump, according to South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn, the House Majority Whip who was instrumental to the newly inaugurated president’s campaign.

Following the inauguration of Mr Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday, Congressman Clyburn told reporters that former president Bush called him the “saviour" for his role helping Mr Biden secure the Democratic nomination.

A spokesperson for the former president said “let’s not make this into more than it is. He was saying Clyburn helped save Biden’s nomination ... nothing Biblical here.”

The Black congressman has been labelled a “kingmaker” in his party following his critical endorsement of the former vice president as he sought the nomination, a key inflection point in what was a crowded field of candidates. Mr Biden’s crucial Democratic primary election victory in South Carolina followed two disappointing finishes in three other states.

Read more: Follow live updates and news on Inauguration Day 2021

Mr Bush, the only living Republican former president apart from Donald Trump, and former First Lady Laura Bush attended the inauguration ceremony, with other living presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton with former First Ladies Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton; Jimmy Carter, who at 96 years old is the oldest living president, was not able to attend. Mr Trump flew to his Florida estate on Wednesday morning.

The 43rd president did not vote for Mr Trump in the 2016 election and he reportedly did not support his re-election.

He condemned the insurrection at the US Capitol incited by Mr Trump, though he didn’t mention the former president in a message to his supporters: “To those who are disappointed in the results of the election: Our country is more important than the politics of the moment. Let the officials elected by the people fulfill their duties and represent our voices in peace and safety. ”

"This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic – not our democratic republic," he said in a statement after the attack. "I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement."

Mr Clyburn told reporters on Wednesday that Mr Biden’s swearing-in ceremony "allows the country to renew itself two weeks after an attempt of insurrection took place."

Read More

Barack, Bill and Dubya: How Democrats came to embrace George W Bush

James Clyburn on helping Joe Biden defeat Donald Trump