Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday said the nation owes an apology for slavery.
“As a nation — I don’t think as a president, but as a nation — we have got to apologize for slavery,” the 2016 Democratic presidential contender told host Joe Madison on Sirius XM’s “The Black Eagle.”
“As a nation we have got to apologize for slavery, and of course the president is the leader of the nation,” he added.
“Obviously nobody in this generation was involved in slavery,” Sanders said.
“But as a nation, slavery is one of the abominations that our country has experienced," he continued. "There is no excuse — what can we say about it?”
“It was horrific,” he added. “It killed millions of people who never made it even across the ocean. It destroyed the lives of so many people.”
Sanders has been attracting large crowds at his campaign events, spurring the campaign of Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the nomination, to express worry about his surge in support.
With polls show him closing the gap with Clinton in early-voting states, Sanders is beginning to make a play for minority voters crucial to Democratic candidates.
Sanders in the interview said the economic issues he is pushing to address, such as income inequality, would benefit minority communities, including African-Americans.
“We are talking about raising the minimum wage not to $10 an hour, but $15 an hour, over the period of a few years,” he said.
“We are talking about providing — fighting for — a national healthcare program which guarantees healthcare to all of our people.”
“I think the economic agenda that we are outlying will impact very positively all working people in this country, especially people who are being hit the hardest right now, which is people in the African American community.”
Sanders in the interview also voiced disappointment over comedian Bill Cosby, who is facing sexual assault allegations.
Documents unsealed this week reportedly show that Cosby admitted to acquiring quaaludes for drugging women and then having sex with them in 2005, CNN reported Tuesday.
“Well, I think it’s a tragedy,” Sanders said of the allegations against Cosby.
“It appears that the allegations are true, and that’s the reality.”