Jesse Jackson backs Bernie Sanders

Ahead of the Michigan primary, Senator Bernie Sanders garnered his own endorsement on Sunday from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a well-known civil rights leader, especially among older African Americans.

In his endorsement, Jackson described black Americans as those most left behind socially and economically and that the progressive path laid out by Sanders offered the best chance for them to catch up.

At a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Sanders introduced Jackson, 78, and said Barack Obama was able to become the first black U.S. president in 2008 because of the achievements of Jackson, who ran for the presidency twice in the 1980s.

“I stand with Bernie Sanders today because he stood with me. I stand with him because he’s never lost his taste for justice for the people,” Jackson told the large outdoor crowd.

Jackson won the 1988 Democratic primary in Michigan, the big prize in Tuesday’s contests where the stakes are high for Sanders after Biden’s Super Tuesday victories.

Jackson has been a civil rights activist since the mid-1960s, and was with one of the movement’s leaders, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., when he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968.

Sanders trails Biden in support among African Americans.

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