Former Attorney General Eric Holder to endorse Hillary Clinton

Story highlights

  • Former attorney general Eric Holder endorsed Hillary Clinton's presidential bid and will campaign with her this weekend
  • Holder will also deliver the keynote address on her behalf at a church service on Sunday at Morris Street Baptist Church in Charleston, South Carolina

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN)Eric Holder, the nation's first African American attorney general and a longtime confidant to President Barack Obama, endorsed Hillary Clinton on Wednesday in a statement provided by the presidential campaign.

Holder, who stepped down as attorney general in 2015, will campaign with Clinton in South Carolina this weekend, including Sunday's Democratic debate sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder participate an event on May 16, 2011, in Washington.
"Our next president can't shy away from building on the progress of President Obama, which is why Hillary Clinton is the candidate that we need in the White House," Holder said in a statement. "She has the experience and right judgment to deliver results for families across the country."
    In addition to campaigning with Clinton, Holder will also deliver the keynote address on her behalf at a church service on Sunday at Morris Street Baptist Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
    While Holder does not mention Bernie Sanders, Clinton's Democratic primary opponent who's surging in recent polls, in his statement, he does herald Clinton on a number of issues that her campaign has used to contrast with the Vermont senator.
    Holder cites Clinton's plan to "address police brutality" and "fight for commonsense reforms to our gun laws" in his statement, arguing that Clinton can be counted on because she "has spent her life taking on the toughest fights."
    Holder's statement comes at a critical time in the race for the Democratic nomination. A trio of polls on Tuesday showed momentum heading in Sanders' direction, causing many within Clinton's campaign to worry that the senator is hitting his stride just weeks before voting starts in February.
    With Sanders now leading in Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada are seen as more important for the Clinton campaign than they were weeks ago. Polls show Clinton with a substantial lead in the first-in-the-South primary.
    The campaign has looked to stem Sanders' rise with a string of endorsements, many focused on Clinton's gun plan, and by hitting Sanders on the issue.
    Guns and police brutality are important issues to Democratic voters in South Carolina. In April, an officer shot and killed Walter Scott, an unarmed black man. South Carolina was also the site of a deadly mass shooting that killed nine parishioners at a historic black church in June.