NY Rep. Hakeem Jeffries endorses Hillary
© Getty

Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesHakeem Jeffries tells Senate in impeachment proceedings they should subpoena Baseball Hall of Fame after Jeter vote Video becomes vital part of Democrats' case against Trump Female impeachment managers say American public know a 'rigged' trial when they see one MORE (D-N.Y.) is endorsing Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti defends Tulsi Gabbard's lawsuit against Hillary Clinton Trump to hold rally on eve of New Hampshire primary MORE.

“Hillary Clinton is not a blank check — she’s money in the bank,” he said, according to the New York Observer.

ADVERTISEMENT

Jeffries said Clinton's main rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden, Sanders contend for top place in new national poll Biden leads Democratic primary field nationally: poll Warren calls for Brazil to drop charges against Glenn Greenwald MORE (I-Vt.), is incapable of winning in the general election.

“Let’s be clear — a self-described socialist will not be the next president of the United States,” Jeffries said at New York City Hall.

“Senator Bernie Sanders in my view has a significant track record of articulating good ideas on behalf of hard-working Americans but that verbal track record in and of itself is not a sufficient qualification to be the next president of America.”

Jeffries argued that Clinton has a better chance of winning the White House next year because Sanders is not gaining traction with minority voters.

“It was clear to me very early on that Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaFormer NYT correspondent rips Democrats' 'selective use' of constitutional violations Obama portraits leaving National Portrait Gallery to tour museums across the country Tulsi Gabbard explains decision to sue Hillary Clinton: 'They can do it to anybody' MORE had broad appeal across a very diverse constituency in the United States of America,” said Jeffries, citing the president’s path to the Oval Office in 2008 and 2012.

“I’ve got tremendous respect for Senator Bernie Sanders but he’s got a narrow appeal and it’s not clear to me [that it] will extend beyond certain segments in Iowa and New Hampshire and I think the polls have born that out to date,” he added.

Jeffries then criticized liberal New York Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioNew York City bans cashless businesses How far will New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio go to protect undocumented aliens? The Hill's Morning Report - Impeachment trial a week away; debate night MORE (D) for refusing to endorse Clinton’s 2016 bid. De Blasio has repeatedly argued Clinton’s policy positions are too vague.

“It’s not my place to determine his time table,” Jeffries said of de Blasio’s endorsement, according to the New York Daily News.

“It’s not clear to me, however, that a town hall meeting in the corn fields of Iowa has anything to do with the quality of life of everyday New Yorkers,” he said, referencing de Blasio’s presidential forum in the Hawkeye State next December.

“[She] has a proven track record,” Jeffries added of Clinton. "I think you will see her strengthen her support [as the race goes on].”

Jeffries is reportedly considering running against de Blasio for the New York mayor’s office in 2017.

De Blasio previously managed Clinton's successful campaign for a New York Senate seat in 2000.