- Bernie Sanders is highlighting his previous support for two civil rights icons as he woos African-American voters in South Carolina
- Sanders and Hillary Clinton continue to battle over the black vote in South Carolina
Two videos released Saturday by the Vermont senator feature Martin Luther King Jr. and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who Sanders endorsed for president in 1988 back when he was the mayor of Burlington, Vermont.
"Tonight, many of us are going to give our support to a candidate for president who has done more than any other candidate in living memory to bring together the disenfranchised, the hungry, the poor, the workers who are being thrown out of their decent-paying jobs and the farmers who are being thrown off of their land," Sanders said back then in a speech supporting Jackson.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to place for nomination this evening the name of one of the great leaders of our time and a man who has waged the most courageous and exciting political campaigns in the modern history of this nation. I place for nomination, with a great deal of personal pride, the name of Jesse Jackson," Sanders says in the clip.
The civil rights leader, who Sanders also supported in 1984, eventually won the South Carolina and Vermont caucuses in 1988. He eventually finished second to then-Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis for the Democratic nomination.
Jackson also was an ally of King's, who is featured in an ad released by the Sanders campaign on Saturday entitled "Wheels of Inevitability."
The spot opens up with a quote from King: "Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle," then transitions to images of Sanders marching with African-Americans.
"He was there when Dr. King marched on Washington," a narrator says. "Unafraid to challenge the status quo to end racial profiling, take on police misconduct and take down a system that profits from mass imprisonment."
Sanders and Hillary Clinton continue to battle over the black vote in South Carolina, which will make up more than half of the voters in the state's Democratic primary at the end of the month.
Both the Sanders and Clinton campaigns have been eager to announce surrogates and endorsements from a list of prominent African-Americans in that state: Clinton announced the backing of House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford while on the same day, state Rep. Cezar McKnight revealed his support for Sanders.
Last month, Sanders, along with former presidential candidate Martin O'Malley and African-American leaders in South Carolina, participated in a mile-long march to the statehouse on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Clinton also spoke at the event.