Bernie Sanders endorses Hillary Clinton, unifying Democrats

BernieHillaryThis morning Senator Bernie Sanders Endorsed Hillary Clinton | Video.

Here’s Bernie Sanders’s official endorsement of Hillary Clinton, in full.

The New York Times reports, Bernie Sanders Endorses Hillary Clinton, Cementing Democrats’ Unity:

Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday, clearing away the last major obstacle to a united Democratic front heading into the party’s convention this month and the general election this fall.

Entering the high school gymnasium together and waving and shaking hands along the rope line and from the stage, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders stood before a giant American flag image flanked by Mrs. Clinton’s motto, “Stronger Together.” They appeared to chat briefly before Mr. Sanders spoke, and he patted her on the back before Mr. Sanders stepped forward to cheers to “Unity!”

“Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process,” Mr. Sanders said, as cheers erupted and Mrs. Clinton broke into a wide smile. “And I congratulate her for that. She will be the Democratic nominee for president, and I intend to do everything I can to make certain that she will be the next president of the United States.”

“I have come here to make it as clear as possible why I am endorsing Hillary Clinton and why she must become our next president.”

Mr. Sanders, the fiercely independent senator from Vermont, who portrayed Mrs. Clinton as a captive of big-money interests during their race, was in a bittersweet but resolute mood, according to Sanders advisers, as he took the stage with her at Portsmouth High School. He was back in a state that once filled his campaign with hope, after he crushed Mrs. Clinton by 22 percentage points in the February primary, and he came around grudgingly to supporting her, the advisers said. But he was also determined to make a strong case against Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, and to champion Mrs. Clinton as the only chance to defeat him.

Whether Mrs. Clinton can also win over the 13 million Sanders voters will be one of her biggest challenges at the convention July 25-28 in Philadelphia and in the weeks ahead. About 85 percent of Democrats who backed Mr. Sanders in the primary contests said they planned to vote for her in the general election, according to a Pew poll released last week. Yet she has struggled to appeal to the independents and liberals who rallied behind the senator’s call for a “political revolution” to topple establishment politicians, Mrs. Clinton included.

When Mr. Sanders finished his remarks, he and Mrs. Clinton had a tight hug. “You were great, so great,” Mrs. Clinton said to him. “Thank you so much.” Then, in her own speech, she thanked him profusely and hailed Mr. Sanders’s wife, Jane, while also reaching out to his supporters.

“With your help, we’re joining forces to defeat Donald Trump, win in November, and build a future we can all believe in,” Mrs. Clinton said. “Thank you, thank you Bernie for your endorsement, but more than that, thank you for your lifetime of fighting injustice. I am proud to be fighting alongside you because, my friends, this is a time for all of us to stand together.”

Mrs. Clinton is counting on Mr. Sanders to help bring his supporters into her camp, and Sanders advisers said he would try. In a text message on Tuesday before this campaign event, Michael Briggs, a spokesman for Mr. Sanders, said the senator and his wife feel as if their voters should feel encouraged.

“They feel like the millions of people who were the heart and soul of the campaign have a lot to be proud about,” Mr. Briggs wrote as he drove from Vermont with Senator Sanders and Ms. Sanders to the New Hampshire event.

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bernie_on_boardDenouncing Mr. Trump as much as praising Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Sanders unfurled an aggressive, point-by-point comparison of the policy positions of the two candidates, arguing that “there is no doubt that Hillary is the best candidate.” Largely blurring over his own differences with Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Sanders aligned himself with her on creating more jobs, raising the minimum wage, expanding access to government-run health care, combating climate change, and offering relief to college students in deep debt. But he made no mention of new regulations on Wall Street and his disgust for billionaire-driven super “Pacs,” two points on which he hammered Mrs. Clinton during their long nomination fight.

“It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues – that is what this campaign has been about, that is what democracy is about,” Mr. Sanders said.

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On the campaign trail, Mrs. Clinton has been focused on winning over independents and Republican-leaning women who are turned off by Mr. Trump, exuding confidence that the young voters and liberals who backed Mr. Sanders would get in line and support her when faced with the prospect of a Trump presidency instead.

But behind the scenes, her senior campaign aides have tried to build bridges to a wing of the party skeptical of Mrs. Clinton and the brand of centrist politics her husband advanced. Since she clinched the number of delegates needed to secure her party’s nomination on June 7, the campaign has reached out to Mr. Sanders’s supporters, dispatching the campaign manager Robby Mook, the director of states and political engagement, Marlon Marshall, and the top policy adviser Jake Sullivan, to states where Mr. Sanders defeated Mrs. Clinton, including New Hampshire, Wyoming, Vermont and Washington State.

The détente between the two camps began after Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders met privately at the Hilton in Washington last month. Jeff Weaver, Mr. Sanders’s campaign manager, and Mr. Mook remained behind after the meeting hashing out their differences and discussing policy for the next two hours. In the weeks that followed, Mr. Mook, a Vermont native, and Mr. Weaver were in daily contact, exchanging texts and phone calls and grabbing dinner at the Farmhouse Tap and Grill in Burlington.

Mrs. Clinton also inched toward Mr. Sanders’s positioning on education, with a pledge to make public colleges and universities tuition free for families that make less than $125,000 a year and with a reaffirmation of a “public option” to be built into the Affordable Care Act.

In Orlando, Fla., Mrs. Clinton’s policy adviser, Maya Harris, and Mr. Sander’s policy adviser, Warren Gunnels, sat down to come up with compromises on both issues, though trade and the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, in particular, remains a sticking point between the two camps.

For many Sanders supporters, voting for Mrs. Clinton is still hard to fathom: Recent polls show that only a small fraction of them would support her enthusiastically.

Just as eight years ago there were the “People United Means Action” (or PUMA’s), die-hard Clinton supporters who told pollsters they would not support Barack Obama before the convention, Why Clinton voters say they won’t support Obama, but nevertheless the majority of whom voted for Obama in November.

There are always the sore losers and dead-enders, but they are never the people who lead or make a difference.

5 responses to “Bernie Sanders endorses Hillary Clinton, unifying Democrats

  1. The speech that President Obama delivered this afternoon in Dallas illuminates, among other things, how uniquely unqualified Hillary Clinton is to be the president, especially in these times.

    I know that a lot of folks are thinking that she has changed, that she might surprise us. Hell, she probably thinks so herself. Well, hope springs eternal, but leopards don’t change their spots.

    How sad for this country that this is what rose to the top of the two political parties that dominate our elections, Trump or Hillary. Pray hard, folks, pray hard.

    Bernie Sanders was a long shot, to be sure, but I am grateful to him for challenging Hillary. The Democrats would be much worse off right now if she had marched to her coronation without competition. Having said that, it is also possible that the challenge and the non-binding Democratic platform will amount to little or nothing. We’ll see.

  2. captain*arizona

    are bernie sanders supporters on board? will they hold their nose and vote for her despite her iraq war vote? lucky for her jill stein was kicked off the ballot in arizona.

  3. Do you really thin Bernie endorsing Hillary unifies Democrats? Or are you just wishfully thinking? Many of those who supported Bernie don’t like Hillary much more than I do. Of course, as they so eloquently pointed out on one “South Park” episode: Most elections are a choice between a douche bag and a turd sandwich. So maybe they will grit their teeth and vote for Hillary. My money is on them just not voting.

  4. For Sure Not Tom

    Clinton just last Saturday announced support for a public option, and Obama just asked congress to add a public option to Obamacare.

    Thank you, Bernie Sanders.