Several vocal audience members shouted when Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders struggled to answer a question about how he plans to win over black female voters.
The awkward incident happened Wednesday during the She the People forum in Houston, Texas.
“You’re polling very well in every state, but in order to consolidate the nomination, you have to win over Hillary Clinton voters. What are you doing to try to win over those voters, which includes a substantial share of the women of color, the black women who voted in 2016?” asked co-moderator Joy Reid.
Sanders began his response by appealing to the Democrats’ desire to defeat President Donald Trump, who he called “the most dangerous president” in “modern history.”
The Vermont socialist then appealed to a united Democratic Party:
And to your point, the Democratic party has got to be united. I hope to win the nomination and I hope to have my fellow candidates, people who are seeking the nomination, many of whom are personal friends, support me if I win, but my pledge to you is if I do not win, I will do everything that I can to make sure that that Democratic candidate becomes the next president of the United States. This is no time for petty divisiveness. This is a time to stand together in the fight, not only to defeat Trump and his racism and his sexism and his homophobia, this is a time for the American people to come together in the fight for economic justice, social justice, racial justice, and environmental justice, and that is what this campaign is about.
But he hadn’t answered the specific question, as Reid was quick to point out:
“Yeah, and for black women, specifically?” she asked. (RELATED: Here’s Where Each 2020 Democratic Candidate Stands On Slavery Reparations)
“I’m sorry?” Sanders replied, seemingly not hearing the question.
“For black women specifically,” Reid said again, at which point several audience members shouted at the Vermont senator.
“Black women will be an integral part of what our campaign, and what are administration is about. Okay?” Sanders said, seemingly rattled as he stopped speaking mid-sentence. “And that means …”
“Were you finished with your ..?” asked co-moderator Amy Allison.
“Yeah, go ahead, yeah,” Sanders responded.