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Sanders distances himself from surrogate's attack that Biden 'repeatedly betrayed black voters'

Sanders distances himself from surrogate's attack that Biden 'repeatedly betrayed black voters'
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle OVERNIGHT ENERGY:  EPA announces new clean air advisors after firing Trump appointees |  Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior | Watchdog: Bureau of Land Management saw messaging failures, understaffing during pandemic MORE (I-Vt.) during Friday's Democratic debate in New Hampshire distanced himself from criticisms one of his top surrogates leveled recently at former Vice President Joe Biden (D).

When pressed about an op-ed written by former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner (D) in a South Carolina newspaper that declared that Biden has "repeatedly betrayed" black voters by voting with Republicans on criminal justice issues, Sanders said that he would not attack Biden, calling him a friend.

"Well I think what Sen. Turner was talking about is some of the early actions of Vice President BidenJoe BidenObama: Ensuring democracy 'continues to work effectively' keeps me 'up at night' New Jersey landlords prohibited from asking potential tenants about criminal records Overnight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE. But no, Joe Biden is a friend of mine, and I'm not here to attack him," Sanders said.

Sanders then pivoted to his ideas for reducing racial inequality in the U.S., including investing in education and health care for the African American community.

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"In terms of the African American community ... we have got to start investing big time in education, in health care. There is no excuse why white families in America have 10 times more wealth than black families," he added.

Turner, who is black and frequently introduces Sanders at his rallies, wrote in The State that Biden "has repeatedly betrayed black voters to side with Republican lawmakers and undermine our progress."

"In standing with Sanders over Biden, we will declare that we are not going backward — we are going forward into a future of empowerment and equality for all," she added.

Sanders and Biden sit at the top of most polls in South Carolina, which holds its primary contest after the New Hampshire primary and the Nevada caucuses.