Reverend Al Sharpton has a following, his MSNBC show PoliticsNation and the clout to potentially help sway African-American voters.
This past Sunday on the BET Awards blue carpet, Sharpton briefly talked presidential politics ahead of the first Democratic debate of the 2020 campaign season.
“I met with all of them,” he told Urban Hollywood 411 about the crowded field of Democratic contenders. “They all came to our National Action Network convention. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, all of them. Joe Biden last night did my show.”
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Earlier this year, Sharpton — a former presidential candidate himself — sat down with California Sen. Kamala Harris and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg in separate lunch meetings at the popular Sylvia’s soul food restaurant in Harlem.
He shared a table near a window with each presidential hopeful as a horde of photographers, reporters and area residents watched from the sidewalk.
While the meetings made headlines, Sharpton said Sunday, he hasn’t yet settled on a candidate.
“I haven’t endorsed anybody,” he noted before walking into the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. “I’m waiting to see who will come with the strongest, clearest policy that deals with everything from criminal justice reform to economic inequality, to educational inequality. I intend to stay on all of the candidates and endorse later in the game.”
So why exactly did Sharpton travel to the West Coast to attend the BET Awards? He presented a gospel music award and helped pay homage to a fallen L.A. rapper and activist.
“I really like that they are honoring Nipsey Hussle because I think it’s important that here was a young man that made money, that excelled and he came back and invested in the community,” Sharpton said. “That’s the example we want to all show.”