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Former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Richard Harpootlian on Wednesday endorsed Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Finance: US preps cases linking North Korea to Fed heist | GOP chair says Dodd-Frank a 2017 priority | Chamber pushes lawmakers on Trump's trade pick | Labor nominee faces Senate Sanders: Block Trump's SEC pick Eye on 2018: Five special elections worth watching MORE (I-Vt.) for president.
"You sort of say, 'Well, can he do it?' " Harpootlian said, according to the New York Times. "It's like 2007, when I met Barack Obama fully intending to support Hillary Clinton. And after a half hour with him he convinced me, not convinced me so much as I saw a passion in him.
“Hillary is not an agent of change — I mean, her campaign slogan should be, ‘It’s my turn,’ ” he added.
“It’s hard for me to listen to how Hillary says she would fight Wall Street when she took hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs — not 20 years ago, but a couple years ago. She’s talking the talk, but not walking the walk.”
Harpootlian, who served two stints as the party chairman in S.C. from 1998 to 2003 and 2011 to 2013, has a history of making controversial comments.
In 2013 he said that the state's Democratic gubernatorial candidate would send Indian-American governor Nikki Haley "back to wherever the hell she came from."
He also once compared Haley to Adolf Hitler's mistress Eva Braun.
South Carolina is expected to pose a challenge for Sanders. He trails Clinton 62 percent to 32.5 percent in a RealClearPolitics polling average in the state.