Hakeem Jeffries: Bernie Sanders 'a bit presumptuous' on race relations

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Story highlights

  • Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat and Clinton supporter, talked about last night's debate
  • Bernie Sanders said that race relations would improve under his presidency

Washington (CNN)A Congressional Black Caucus leader said Friday that it is "a bit presumptuous" for Bernie Sanders to conclude he is the best candidate to improve race relations in America.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter, told CNN's "New Day" improving race relations is more complicated than the Vermont independent senator suggested.
    "I thought that was a very simplistic answer to a very complicated problem," the whip of the Congressional Black Caucus told CNN's Alisyn Camerota. "Under the Obama Administration, we've had 71 consecutive months of private sector job creation. More than 14 million jobs have been created. He's done a tremendous job -- meaning President Barack Obama. But we still have some issues related to race relations that have to be tackled."
    Jeffries added, "I think it seemed a bit presumptuous to me to conclude that Bernie Sanders in the twilight of his career was going to be able to be the great healer in race relations."
    Asked at Thursday's Democratic debate if "race relations would be better under a Sanders presidency than they've been," Sanders replied, "Absolutely."
    "Because what we will do is say, instead of giving tax breaks to millionaires, we are going to create millions of jobs for low-income kids so they're not hanging out on street corners," Sanders told PBS debate moderator Judy Woodruff. "We're going to make sure that those kids stay in school or are able get a college education. So I think that when you give low-income kids, African-American, white, Latino kids, the opportunities to get their lives together, they are not going to end up in jail. They're going to end up in the productive economy, which is where we want them."
    The Congressional Black Caucus political action committee endorsed Clinton on Thursday arguing that she has the best track record advocating for the issues that are most important to black Americans. Jeffries is also endorsing Clinton.