The Rev. Jesse Jackson endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for president during a campaign event at the University of Michigan on Sunday, telling the crowd that a vote for Sanders is a vote for justice and health care.
“I stand with Bernie Sanders today because he stood with me. I stand with him because he never lost his taste for justice with the people. I stand with him because he stands with you,” Jackson said.
The civil rights activist had been introduced by Sanders at the event in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as one of the greatest fighters for civil rights in America’s modern history. If it wasn’t for Jackson’s tireless activism, Barack Obama would likely not have become the first Black president, Sanders said.
“The Rev. Jesse Jackson has broken down more barriers than one can even dream of,” Sanders said.
Jackson later tweeted, “It’s a joy to ‘feel the Bern,’” along with a photo of the two standing side-by-side.
“We look to our youth for energy, expansion and inclusion which leads to growth. The youth that come to these rallies represent hope, healing and promise for our nation,” Jackson added.
The pair’s relationship goes back years, with Sanders supporting Jackson’s second presidential run in 1988 and Sanders being an advocate of Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition, an organization that describes itself as working to “protect, defend, and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields.”
Jackson endorsed Sanders’ then-rival, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 race.
Sanders on Sunday said he’s proud to have Jackson’s back.
Jackson’s endorsement closely followed Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a former 2020 candidate, endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday for the White House.
Sanders brushed off Harris’ endorsement when asked about it by ABC News host George Stephanopoulos in an earlier interview on Sunday.
“We have the support of virtually every major grassroots organization, representing millions of workers, black and brown and white. We have the support of a number of major unions in this country,” Sanders said. “This is no secret George, you know politics, we are not going to get the support of most elected leaders. Not most governors, not most senators. But we are winning the support of grassroots America because we have an agenda that speaks to working people.”