House Majority Whip weighed in on the fight over voting rights and voter ID during an interview with FNC's Neil Cavuto on 'Your World'.
CAVUTO: So, Congressman, when you said you were absolutely open to Joe Manchin's proposed voter I.D. requirement, which did seem to represent a significant pivot on your part, is that your way of saying let's get past the I.D. thing, and on to other matters to get this law done?
CLYBURN: You know, Neil, I don't know why people keep misrepresenting stuff.
There's not a single time that I have ever voted in my entire life -- and I'm going to be 81 years old next week. There's not a single time that I have voted that I did not I.D. myself.
What I spoke about was allowing an I.D., a picture I.D. of a hunter's license to be good, but of a student activity card to be no good. That's the kind of voter I.D. law that I'm talking about that's unfair. I have said that all of my life.
I don't know why you guys keep misrepresenting what I said. I have never said that you should not have voter I.D. What I got my voter registration cards, I keep them in my wallet. And when I go to vote, I presented that every time. And I said to them, I am Jim Clyburn. This is my I.D., and I want to vote.
I have always had voter I.D. And that's why the representative earlier who voted -- no Democrat has never been against voter I.D. We're against...
CAVUTO: Well, maybe I just remember -- I remember some of this a bit differently, sir. But I will take you at your word right now that you certainly are now not going to make that a central issue.
I'm wondering if it is featured in whatever federal legislation you might push now that, if they can drop the filibuster for this particular issue, would fellow Democrats you think be OK with an I.D. requirement for voting included in that legislation?
Stacey Abrams told everybody the same thing right after Joe Manchin came out with that. Nobody's against I.D.ing themselves.
How can you say that you are going to have an election and people present themselves at the polls? Why do you think they have polling people there checking off the list? Because you're I.D.ing yourself. You don't get checked off until you present that you are the person that's about to vote.
CAVUTO: No, no, I understand.
Without getting into the weeds, Congressman, I understand, but, in Texas, some of the I.D.s that they would require, among them is a Texas driver's license, an election I.D. certificate, a personal I.D. card of any sort from a store or wherever you work, handgun license, citizenship certificate, military I.D., U.S. passport. Any one of those would be adequate.
Are you OK with that feature?
CLYBURN: Well, if I'm 94 years old, and I don't have a driver's license, I do not -- I don't have any of those things, what can I use?
That's the question.
CAVUTO: And what would you suggest?
CLYBURN: As a matter of fact, Joe Manchin -- I would suggest, as Joe Manchin said, there are other things that people can use to I.D. themselves.
But when you tell me, because I don't have this kind of I.D. that's not government-issued, you don't have a picture on it. Come on.
CAVUTO: OK, so, in other words, you -- but I think like utility bills, that sort of thing.
Again, I don't want to belabor this point. But that seems to be the crux of where there's a divide here.
I also wanted to get your thoughts real quickly, Congressman, while you're here. You had said not too long ago that this defund the police movement by Democrats is a nonstarter. And now, with the election of Eric Adams in New York, likely the Democratic nominee for mayor and maybe, given the heavy Democrat presence in New York, the next mayor, he isn't keen on that.
He was elected or nominated on that. Are you telling Democrats who say otherwise that it's a mistake, they should stop it?
CLYBURN: Well, I have always said the sloganeering is a mistake.
It may get the headline. But you have to ask yourself, will this allow me to make headway? And that is what we have to do. Burn, baby burn destroyed our movement back in the '60s. I don't want to see defund the police destroy the movement that is going great for Black Lives Matter today.
And I'm telling you, this kind of sloganeering can destroy these kinds of movements. And that's what I don't want to see happen.