Top Sanders campaign aide hits Biden, saying no one should be able to ride on Obama's coattails

A top 2020 campaign official for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersMcConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by 'downplaying progress' on election security The Hill's Campaign Report: Arizona shifts towards Biden | Biden prepares for drive-in town hall | New Biden ad targets Latino voters Why Democrats must confront extreme left wing incitement to violence MORE (I-Vt.) criticized fellow White House hopeful Joe BidenJoe BidenCast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response Biden tells CNN town hall that he has benefited from white privilege MORE on Thursday, accusing the former vice president of largely riding on former President Obama’s legacy, particularly when it comes to the support of African-American voters.

“No one should be able to ride the coattails of the first African-American president,” Nina Turner, co-chairwoman of Sanders's presidential campaign, said  on Hill.TV, referring to Biden.

“You need to earn the black vote every single time that you run,” she added.

The Biden campaign didn't immediately respond to Hill.TV's request for comment.

Black voters are considered a crucial Democratic voting bloc, particularly in states like South Carolina where they make up a significant proportion of the electorate.

Biden maintains a strong lead in South Carolina, at 35 percent support in the RealClearPolitics average. He's followed by Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Don't expect a government check anytime soon No new taxes for the ultra rich — fix bad tax policy instead MORE (D-Mass.) at 16.3 percent and Sanders at 12.8 percent. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBogeymen of the far left deserve a place in any Biden administration Overnight Defense: Woodward book causes new firestorm | Book says Trump lashed out at generals, told Woodward about secret weapons system | US withdrawing thousands of troops from Iraq A socially and environmentally just way to fight climate change MORE (D) is in fourth place at 6.5 percent.

Turner on Thursday attributed Biden’s strong support within the African-American community, particularly among older black voters to “short memories,” and “not a true understanding of the history,” alluding to Biden’s criminal justice record.

“In the African-American community, especially among older voters, is a reverence for President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Don't expect a government check anytime soon Trump appointees stymie recommendations to boost minority voting: report Obama's first presidential memoir, 'A Promised Land,' set for November release MORE and this whole notion that if Vice President Biden was good enough for President Obama, he should be good enough for us,” she said.

Turner also lamented that black voters are often overlooked unless it’s a presidential election cycle, calling it a “wake up call” for the community as a whole, but maintained that Sanders is "not taking anything for granted." 

"We are out there knocking [on] doors, making the phone calls, the senator himself has come to that state," she told Hill.TV, citing Sanders's recent trip to South Carolina over the weekend. 

—Tess Bonn