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Jesse Jackson endores Bernie Sanders for President

Jackson backs Bernie Sanders and his progressive movement.
Bernie Sanders / Getty Images

During Bernie Sanders campaign rally in Michigan, Jesse Jackson gave Bernie Sanders an endorsement ahead of elections on Tuesday.

What We Know:

  • Civil rights leader and former presidential candidate Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination on Sunday.
  • “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 Biden campaign has not reached out to me or asked for my support,” he added. “The Sanders campaign has, and they responded to the issues I raised.”
  • Jackson, a longtime civil rights leader and clergyman, launched campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1983 and 1987. He won Michigan during his presidential bid in 1988 when it was still a caucus.
  • In an interview Sunday with CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union, Sanders said he’s “proud” of the endorsement, and lauded Jackson as “one of the great civil rights leaders in our country”.
  • “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,” he said. “I think with Rev. Jackson — I think we got a real boost in our campaign.”
  • Jackson said the Sanders campaign made a series of commitments to him, including pushing for a right to vote constitutional amendment in Congress, supporting a wealth tax, and allocating $50 billion to historically black colleges and universities. He also said Sanders committed to nominating an African American woman to the Supreme Court and endorsing a two-state solution in the Middle East.
  • Additionally, Jackson also cited Sanders’ support for a single-payer health care plan as a key factor for his endorsement.
  • The relationship between Sanders and Jackson dates back to 1988 when then-Burlington Mayor Bernie Sanders endorsed Jesse Jackson for president at the Burlington Democratic presidential caucus.

Bernie Sanders is currently second in the Democratic primaries with 574 delegates. Joe Biden, who has garnered more Black votes to date, is in the lead with 670 delegates.

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