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8 Mar, 2020 17:02

Biden and Sanders fight for black voters with competing endorsements from Kamala Harris, Jesse Jackson

Biden and Sanders fight for black voters with competing endorsements from Kamala Harris, Jesse Jackson

Shortly after Joe Biden received an endorsement from Senator Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders’ campaign announced support from civil rights activist Jesse Jackson.

“A people far behind cannot catch up choosing the most moderate path,” Jackson said in a public statement announcing his support for Sanders. “The most progressive social and economic path gives us the best chance to catch up and Senator Bernie Sanders represents the most progressive path. That’s why I choose to endorse him today.”

While the statement doesn’t directly name Biden, the mention of a “moderate” choice versus a “progressive” choice is how Biden and Sanders have been portrayed by many Democrats as the two fight for the Democrat Party’s presidential nomination — Biden currently has almost 100 more delegates than Sanders.

Jackson spoke at a campaign event for Sanders in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Sunday.

"Thank God for Bernie Sanders," Jackson told the gathered crowd of supporters. 

The endorsement comes only hours after Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) announced she was endorsing Joe Biden, despite the two getting into tense clashes while Harris was still a presidential candidate. Though Harris has said Biden is the best choice for the nomination, she previously attacked him during a debate in June over comments touting his working relationship with segregationist senators in the ‘70s. 

While Sanders has enjoyed several primary victories and remains Biden’s only real competition — Tulsi Gabbard remains in the race with only two delegates — he has struggled to win the support of black voters. 

On Super Tuesday, Biden outperformed Sanders among black voters by 40 points or more in states like Texas and North Carolina. Biden also achieved his first primary victory in South Carolina before that, which has a large black voter base among Democrats. 

Also on rt.com Kamala Harris endorses Biden, who she previously bashed for ‘segregationist’ busing views

While Jackson has had his fair share of controversies in the past — he was once caught on a hot mic saying he wanted to “cut” Barack Obama’s “nuts out” for talking down to black people — Harris’ endorsement comes burdened with her past criticism of Biden. 

Sanders, however, is the one in need of more support among black voters in upcoming primary races, something he is no doubt hoping Jackson helps with.

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