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Bernie Sanders Stammers When Asked If He’s Passed Laws That Help Black People: ‘Not Specifically’

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stumbled when asked whether his legislative record includes laws that have helped black people.

The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate gave an extensive interview to the syndicated radio show The Breakfast Club, and was asked about many issues of concern to black voters.

At one point, co-host Charlamagne Tha God pressed Sanders for details about his record on black issues.

“When we talk about your record with black people, what examples can you point at to show black people ‘This is what I have done, specifically, for issues that deal with y’all?'” Charlamagne Tha God asked.

Sanders talked about his membership in “a group that I think no longer exists, the Congress of Racial Equality,” (it still exists) and asked the host “Ring a bell?”

“It was one of the prominent civil rights groups in the early 60s,” Sanders explained. “And we took on segregated housing owned by the University of Chicago, we held the first sit-in demonstration ever held in the North, okay? I got arrested for doing that, okay?”

“In 1963, this does speak to my age I guess, I was at the March on Washington for jobs and freedom where Dr. King spoke,” Sanders continued. “So I think I have a long history in civil rights activism. In 1988, I was one of the few white public officials who supported Jesse Jackson for president of the United States, and he ended up winning Vermont.”

Two years earlier, in 1986, Jesse Jackson endorsed Sanders for governor of Vermont:

Sanders did not win Vermont. He was defeated by Gov. Madeleine Kunin — a Democrat who was Vermont’s first woman governor.

“I think if you look at my record in terms of civil rights, and other areas, you will find that it is consistently a very very strong one,” Sanders concluded.

“Any legislation you can point to?” Charlamagne asked.

“Well, legislation that benefits African-Americans, yeah,” Sanders stammered, adding “but not specifically, you know, we passed legislation that benefits working people, sure.”

It was an awkward moment for a candidate who has struggled to connect with black voters, and has consistently experienced difficulties speaking about issues specific to the black community.

That awkwardness was not lost on the Republican National Committee, which attempted to seize on the moment by tweeting the clip. But ironically, they neglected to use the word “black” in their tweet:


Watch the clip above, from The Breakfast Club.

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