Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders used Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s dismal approval rating among the city’s residents to court potential voters just three days before the Illinois primary, the Washington Post reported.
“Let me be as clear as I can be,” Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, said Saturday morning. “Based on his disastrous record as mayor of the city of Chicago, I do not want Mayor Emanuel’s endorsement if I win the Democratic nomination. … We want the endorsement of people who are fighting for social and racial justice. We do not want the support of people who are indebted to Wall Street and the big money interests.”
Emanuel has remained unpopular among minorities in the city since the October 2014 fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager, by a white police officer, and the decision not to immediately release video footage of the shooting. [The video became public more than a year later, in December 2015.] About 71 percent of African-Americans in Chicago disapprove of Emanuel’s leadership.
Sanders criticized Emanuel’s decision to close many schools in black and Latino neighborhoods as a result of budget constraints. Sanders touched on police misconduct as well as voting rights and healthcare at a local church in Chicago on Saturday morning, and also held a rally just outside the city Friday night, which drew a crowd of about 9,000.
Sanders and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton both campaigned in Illinois this week. Clinton, who was born in Chicago, still had a commanding lead over Sanders in Illinois, with 67 percent of voters saying they would vote for Clinton. Despite Sanders promoting his history of civil rights advocacy, Clinton has consistently performed best among minority, as well as female, prospective voters in the polls, the Chicago Tribune reported.
— The Hill (@thehill) March 12, 2016
Illinois doesn’t have a winner-take-all primary, so Sanders could get some delegates there even if he loses to Clinton. The former U.S. secretary of state is leading Sanders in delegates, 1,227 to 576.