(CNN) – Two prominent African-American politicians plan to join former President Bill Clinton on a tour of black churches this Sunday in Los Angeles. Sources say one of the officials has described it as Clinton’s “mea culpa tour” to the black community.
“They need to go touch the people like they did before. The bickering they got in in South Carolina must be put aside,” says one of the officials, who plans to join the former president on Sunday.
“Bill is going to have to come back among those who loved him and he did so much for. He is going to have to do it – I can’t do it for him – and face the voters,” the source continued, adding that once he does, “it’ll put him back in the comfort zone, and I think you’ll see [Hillary Clinton’s] numbers go up.”
Democratic Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama battling for California votes leading up to the February 5 primary there. Her campaign points to several polls that have shown her with the a lead in this delegate-rich state, while his is emphasizing fresh endorsements from the state's largest newspaper and biggest labor union.
A spokesperson for the Clinton campaign in California confirms the former president will be visiting African-American churches this Sunday, but disputes the notion the stops are intended to make amends with the black community before the state’s voters head to the polls this Tuesday.
“He’s very popular with Latinos, African-Americans, it’s absolutely not a mea culpa tour,” says Clinton California spokesperson Luis Vizcaino.
“Right after the [South Carolina] debate, where some people felt there was a lot of tension with the African-American community, [Hillary Clinton] came to Los Angeles and had a discussion with members of the African-American community here. And people here said no one cares about the controversy or black-versus-brown or brown-versus white-tension - we want to know about jobs, and how she’ll help our community.
“I don’t think there was one single question raised there about we feel you are using race or you disrespected Martin Luther King Jr., nothing like that.”
A few of former President Clinton’s comments in South Carolina were interpreted by some as racially insensitive. CNN’s Candy Crowley reported that after the South Carolina contest a number of unpaid advisors and surrogates to the Clinton campaign agreed the former president’s remarks “hurt more than helped” his wife’s campaign.
On Sunday the politicians joining the President expect to visit a number of black churches in South Central Los Angeles, with additional stops possible in Inglewood and West Los Angeles.
Sen. Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton will attend separate events in California this weekend. Vizcaino says it’s all evidence the campaign “is not taking anything for granted.”
But he adds that “the former President remains very, very popular in this state. It’s still referred to as ‘Clinton country.’”
–CNN's Jessica Yellin