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Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson endorses Sanders

Civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson has endorsed Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Election night could be a bit messy The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden blitz battleground states Oct. 29: Where Trump and Biden will be campaigning MORE (I-Vt.) for president, the campaign announced Sunday.

“A people far behind cannot catch up choosing the most moderate path,” Jackson said in a statement. “The most progressive social and economic path gives us the best chance to catch up and Senator Bernie Sanders represents the most progressive path. That’s why I choose to endorse him today.”

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Jackson said former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden Florida heat sends a dozen Trump rally attendees to hospital Harris more often the target of online misinformation than Pence: report MORE’s campaign had not reached out or asked for his endorsement.

Jackson said the Vermont progressive answered the concerns of the black community in his support of voting rights and renewing the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. The civil rights leader plans to speak at a campaign event in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Sunday. 

He said the “black firewall” has changed the dynamics of the election and that campaigns need to appeal to the black community.

“That’s some of what the firewall needs and that Senator Sanders has committed himself to, and that’s why I can enthusiastically endorse Senator Bernie Sanders today,” he said, citing Sanders's wealth tax and "Medicare for All" plans.

Sanders announced the endorsement on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday after host George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosAll fracked up: Biden's Keystone State breakdown The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters Pelosi: White House made 'unacceptable changes' to testing language during negotiations on coronavirus stimulus MORE noted Biden’s wins on Super Tuesday and support from nine former presidential candidates. Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden Harris more often the target of online misinformation than Pence: report Maya Rudolph says she loves playing Kamala Harris on SNL: 'Feels like being on the side of the good guys' MORE (D-Calif.) offered her support to the former vice president Sunday.

“It’s no secret, George. You know politics in this country. We’re not going to get the most support of elected leaders, not most governors, not most senators,” Sanders responded. “But we are winning the support of grassroots America because we have an agenda that speaks to working people.” 

Jackson has “been a leader in helping to transform this country, an aide to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., so we’re proud,” Sanders said.

Biden won 10 of 14 states that voted on Super Tuesday and now sits at 664 delegates. Sanders has 573 delegates allocated to him, although the Super Tuesday delegates have not been completely distributed.