Black Caucus head won’t commit in Dems’ leadership race – BY MIKE LILLIS – 11/29/16 11:01 PM EST

The head of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) on Tuesday declined to endorse a candidate ahead of Wednesday’s leadership contest between Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Tim Ryan (D-Ohio).

© Getty

© Getty

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), emerging from an hours-long closed-door meeting of the CBC in the Capitol, said he’s “not authorized to make a statement at all.”

“If I could I would,” Butterfield said. “I’ll get in trouble if I make a statement.”

The remarks are a steep departure from Butterfield’s comments earlier in the month, when the CBC chairman offered a strong endorsement of Pelosi.

“I’m going to vote for Nancy Pelosi, that’s for sure,” Butterfield said at the time. “I think she’s been a great leader, and I’m going to continue to support her. But if someone wants to run against her, it would not offend me, because that’s the way a caucus operates.”

Days later, Ryan launched his long-shot challenge, which hinges largely on the notion that Pelosi’s leadership strategy has failed, over four straight cycles, to return control of the House to the minority Democrats. Ryan and his supporters say the Democrats need a shakeup at the very top to bring younger faces and new ideas into the leadership fold.

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