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Black Lawmakers Who Endorsed Michael Bloomberg Are Still Waiting To Hear From Joe Biden

Reps. Gregory Meeks and Bobby Rush said the former vice president hasn’t reached out yet to ask for an endorsement.

Posted on March 5, 2020, at 1:24 p.m. ET

Bebeto Matthews / AP

Rep. Gregory Meeks

WASHINGTON — Reps. Gregory Meeks and Bobby Rush, two members of the Congressional Black Caucus who had endorsed former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, are deciding whether to coalesce around Joe Biden after Bloomberg dropped out of the presidential race — but they want Biden to make the ask.

Meeks told BuzzFeed News that he hasn’t made a decision yet, but pointed to the fact that Bloomberg is throwing his support behind Biden. Later, he said that Biden hadn’t reached out to ask for his endorsement yet, but expressed his concern about Sen. Bernie Sanders’ allies who’ve launched campaigns against his CBC colleagues.

“The individuals who are part of the Bernie Sanders campaign and who are so-called Justice Democrats are running against, for example, [Reps.] Joyce Beatty and Emanuel Cleaver ... gives me concerns about coming together,” the Queens Democrat told BuzzFeed News, referring to the progressive group that is closely aligned with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who supports Sanders.

Rush, who had endorsed Bloomberg as well, told BuzzFeed News, “I’m waiting to be asked,” responding to whether or not he’s backing Biden.

An Biden adviser said that the campaign had previously asked for an endorsement from both men.

"Our campaign is in touch with many members of Congress, including the 70 who have endorsed the Vice President," the adviser said. "Joementum is real and the water is warm. We have been in contact with each of these gentlemen over the course of months, and each were asked for their support previously during this election. We don't have more to share about private conversations at this time."

Meeks announced his Bloomberg endorsement last month after Biden performed below expectations in early states. At the time, Meeks praised Bloomberg’s candidacy, pegging him the one who can “slay the dragon” that is President Donald Trump. Rep. Lucy McBath, another Bloomberg endorser, also has yet to say whom she is supporting now.

Bloomberg suspended his campaign Wednesday and endorsed Biden after a dismal Super Tuesday.

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, who has yet to endorse anyone, told BuzzFeed News she’s not ready to make a public statement about her endorsement, but walked away, looked back, and simply said, “I want to win, so you can figure that one out.”

The lawmakers would join other Congressional Black Caucus members who’ve already coalesced around Biden, including Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, who explained why he supports the former vice president.

“I’m in the middle of the country — Missouri,” Cleaver told BuzzFeed News last week when the presidential race was still a seven-person race. “I think I know my district quite well. I represent the largest city and some of the smallest little towns [in Missouri]. But I do know there are a couple of those candidates who would have a very, very, very, very difficult time winning in portions of my district,” he said, immediately after pointing to Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who suspended her presidential campaign Thursday.

“I think they would say that — I hope.”

UPDATE


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