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Jesse Jackson Endorses Sanders for President

Civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson stands on stage after endorsing U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.,March 8, 2020 (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Sunday, suggesting that “moderate” Democrats cannot solve the issues African Americans face.

“With the exception of Native Americans, African Americans are the people who are most behind socially and economically in the United States and our needs are not moderate. A people far behind cannot catch up choosing the most moderate path. 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,” Jackson said in a statement.

The Baptist minister added that former vice president Joe Biden’s campaign, “has not reached out to me or asked for my support,” but “the Sanders campaign has, and they responded to the issues I raised.”

Sanders endorsed Jackson during his presidential run in 1988, when Jackson won Michigan, which still held a caucus at the time.

“What Rev. Jackson understands is that we have to move aggressively to wipe out all forms of racism in this country, and we need an economic agenda that speaks to the needs of working people, not just the billionaire class,” Sanders said Sunday on CNN, adding that he is “proud” to have the endorsement. “I think with Rev. Jackson – I think we got a real boost in our campaign.”

Jackson invited controversy in 2008 when he was caught on a hot mic saying about Obama, “See, Barack’s been talking down to black people … I want to cut his nuts off.”

He later apologized for the “crude and hurtful” remarks, saying they were “very private” and if “any hurt or harm has been caused to his campaign, I apologize.”

The Obama campaign said at the time that the campaign “of course” accepts Jackson’s apology.

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