Atlanta mayor hits Sanders on race relations claim

Story highlights

  • The Democratic mayor of Atlanta criticized Bernie Sanders on Friday for claiming at a recent Democratic debate that race relations would be better if he is president than they are under President Barack Obama
  • Kasim Reed, a Hillary Clinton supporter, told CNN's Erin Burnett that the claim was "dismissive and disrespectful"

(CNN)The Democratic mayor of Atlanta criticized Bernie Sanders on Friday for claiming at a recent Democratic debate that race relations would be better if he is president than they are under President Barack Obama.

Kasim Reed, a Hillary Clinton supporter, told CNN's Erin Burnett that the claim was "dismissive and disrespectful" of the nation's first African-American president and that Sanders' rhetoric on Thursday reminded him of a county commissioner. Reed went on to challenge Sanders' record, saying, "Show me in the Senate where he led some broad coalition to get something significant accomplished ... He is running to be the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party, although he just became a Democrat within the last year."
Reed also criticized Sanders for claiming he would be a better president for women than Clinton.
    South Carolina State Rep. Justin Bamberg, a former Clinton supporter now backing Sanders, defended the senator. But he also stressed that Sanders respects Obama and was not suggesting that race relations have gotten worse since 2009. Bamberg said Sanders was simply trying to show that his plans for racial, social and economic justice would improve relations in the country.
    Clinton and Sanders are both fighting to win support among African-American voters ahead of the South Carolina primary on February 27.