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Posted under: Politics

Bernie Sanders On Joe Biden’s Primary Victories: I’m ‘Running Against Somebody Who Has Touted His Relationship With Barack Obama’

Should Biden be saying "Thanks, Obama?"

On Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders said his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, is winning over Black voters because of his affiliation with former President Barack Obama, The Hill reported.

Making his appearance on Rachel Maddow's show to speak on his challenges in securing Black voters, Sanders explained he is "running against somebody who has touted his relationship with Barack Obama."

He excused his lack of Black supporters by saying Obama is "enormously popular" with the majority of Democrats and Black voters alike.

"[It's] not that I'm not popular; Biden is running with his ties to Obama," Sanders told Maddow. "And that's working well." 

Sanders lacked Black voters in his 2016 presidential bid against frontrunner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to The New York Times

During the beginning of the Democratic primaries, Biden was losing against Sanders who had strong results in three states: Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. 

However, Biden started to gain his "Joementum" after his first win in South Carolina and winning of a series of southern states during Super Tuesday.

Biden's victory in South Carolina was not directly due to Obama, who has not publicly endorsed anyone in the race as of yet. House Rep. Jim Clyburn, the most influential Black congressman currently in office, helped Biden secure his first win.

"It is no secret, Jim is a very nice guy, his politics are not my politics," Sanders said, according to The Hill.            "[There's] no way in God's earth he was going to be endorsing me." 

Obama has been silent about the Democratic race. He did, however, stand up for Biden when a Republican-backed PAC tried to leverage quotes from his 1996 memoir against Biden, as Blavity previously reported

It also appears to be a strategy for Democratic candidates to be in Obama's good graces, using his appearance in their political ads. Former New York City mayor and former Democratic candidate, Michael Bloomberg's advertisements featured Obama so many times, viewers at home believed he got Obama's endorsement, as Blavity previously reported.

With a lead in delegates, Biden is now the frontrunner thanks to the Black vote. Biden surpassed Sanders in delegate count after winning 10 states. As of Thursday, Biden has 610 delegates compared to Sanders' 541, The New York Times reported. 

All is not lost for Sanders, who won California, as several states have yet to conduct primaries. One of them needs 1,991 delegates to win the Democratic nomination. 

It would presumably go into a brokered convention to determine the Democratic Party's presidential nominee, and considering Sanders' alternative opposition against the Democratic Party, Biden would be favored in the brokered convention this summer at the 2020 Democratic National Convention at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Sanders also told Maddow that Obama is not part of the "Democratic establishment" that he is campaigning against.

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