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Black Leader denounces Bill Clinton

Black Leader in House Denounces Bill Clinton’s Remarks

ClyburnRepresentative James E. Clyburn in his office on Capitol Hill in January. (Photo: Susan Etheridge for The New York Times)

The third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives and one of the country’s most influential African-American leaders sharply criticized former President Bill Clinton this afternoon for what he called Mr. Clinton’s “bizarre” conduct during the Democratic primary campaign.

Representative James E. Clyburn, an undeclared superdelegate from South Carolina who is the Democratic whip in the House, said that “black people are incensed over all of this,” referring to statements that Mr. Clinton had made in the course of the heated race between his wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Senator Barack Obama.

Mr. Clinton was widely criticized by black leaders after he equated the eventual victory of Mr. Obama in South Carolina in January to that of the Rev. Jesse Jackson in 1988 – a parallel that many took as an attempt to diminish Mr. Obama’s success in the campaign.

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