Bernie Sanders endorses Hillary Clinton for US 2016 presidential election

July 12, 2016 5:41 pm

Presumptive Democratic
presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and take the stage
at Portsmouth High School July 12, 2016 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
©AFP

US Senator and ِDemocratic
presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has officially endorsed his rival
Hillary Clinton at a joint rally in a show of party unity.

“Secretary
Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process, and I congratulate
her for that,” Sanders said on Tuesday at a rally in New Hampshire.
“She
will be the Democratic nominee for president and I intend to do
everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the
,” the Vermont Senator added.
Sanders, 74,
told the cheering crowd that Clinton should win the battle against
Republican’s candidate Donald Trump and “become our next president.”
“If
anyone out there thinks that this election is not important, take a
moment to think about the Supreme Court justices that Donald Trump will
nominate, and what that means to civil liberties, equal rights and the
future of our country,” the self-described democratic socialist also
said.
Experts believe that
Sanders’ decision to support the former secretary of state could empower
Clinton against Trump in the presidential race and help her secure
liberal votes.
Sanders had
earlier said that he would not endorse Clinton for president until they
meet and he could measure her commitment to combating wealth inequality,
and other issues that powered his presidential campaign.
Sanders’
emphasis on US income inequality and the influence of corporate money
on elections and the government helped him attract millions of voters to
his campaign.
Trump, who has proclaimed himself as “the law and order” candidate, will campaign in Indiana later on Tuesday.
Trump immediately criticized Sanders’ endorsement on Twitter, saying, “I
am somewhat surprised that Bernie Sanders was not true to himself and
his supporters. They are not happy that he is selling out!”
Bernie Sanders threw his support behind presumptive Democratic
nominee Hillary Clinton at a rally here Tuesday, more than a month after
Clinton effectively clinched the nomination.
“Secretary Clinton
has won the Democratic nominating process, and I congratulate her for
that, Sanders said. “She will be the Democratic nominee for president
and I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next
president of ,” the senator from Vermont said in this
battleground state, where Sanders and Clinton appeared side by side
before a boisterous crowd.
Though both Clinton and Sanders
stressed Democratic unity during a joint rally in a packed high school
gym, much remains unknown about how – and whether – the political
marriage will actually work. And signs of lingering tension within the
party remained as supporters clashed and a police officer intervened to
mediate a dispute in the bleachers.
While they have a common
enemy in Republican Donald Trump, Clinton and Sanders don’t have much of
a personal or professional relationship.

And many of their supporters remain deeply suspicious of the other candidate.
The
crowd in the bleachers here was sprinkled with “Bernie for President”
placards, and some of his supporters were decked out in Bernie t-shirts.
“I’m
not going to say I’m delighted,” said Brynn McDonnell, 24, a former
Sanders volunteer in the audience, when asked about the Clinton
endorsement. “I think it’s a political move he has to make.”
“There
are some Bernie supporters who want to go for Trump, and it’s important
for people to understand that Bernie is the antithesis of Trump,”
explained McDonnell, who recently moved to New Hampshire from Iowa.
The rally began with two Sanders supporters
speaking: environmental leader Bill McKibben and Jim Dean, the leader of
Democracy for America, a grassroots group that endorsed Sanders in the
primaries.
Dean announced that his group would now be throwing its support behind Clinton.
McKibben
touted Sanders’s appeal to young voters and said he hoped the
Democratic party would “not disappoint them” going forward.
“Secretary Clinton, we wish you Godspeed in the fight that now looms,” McKibben said.
Underscoring
the theme of unity, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan and U.S.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen — both Clinton supporters also addressed the
crowd before Clinton and Sanders appeared.
Although Clinton
effectively clinched the nomination last month, aides said Sanders has
no plans to suspend his campaign or formally exit the race before the
convention two weeks from now in Philadelphia. In the past, they have
suggested this could give Sanders more leverage in pushing for more
changes in the party platform before it is adopted.
That approach
was successful to a significant degree, though it alienated many
Democrats who thought the senator should have been more gracious in
accepting defeat after a grueling nominating process.
In the past
week, Clinton has agreed to push policies on free college tuition and
expanded access to health insurance that reflect positions Sanders
championed during the primaries. And he has claimed some major wins in
the party’s platform, including support for a $15 federal minimum wage
and measures to combat climate change.
The joint appearance here
was greeted with a news release from the Trump campaign highlighting the
“top five reasons Sanders supporters will never be excited about
Hillary Clinton.”
One of them was her past support for
international trade deals, which Sanders repeated criticised during the
primaries. Trump has tried to reach out fo Sanders supporters on that
issue, particularly those in the Rust Belt, where thousands of
manufacturing jobs have benn shed.
It remains to be seen how active Sanders will be on the campaign trail for Clinton — and how much he can do on her behalf.
A
Washington Post-ABC News poll released late last month showed that only
8 percent of Sanders supporters said they would back Trump over Clinton
in the general election, down from 20 percent a month earlier. The
greater fear for Democrats is that Sanders voters might simply stay
home.
Aides to the two candidates have discussed sending Sanders
to states where he performed well in the primaries, including Michigan
and Wisconsin. New Hampshire also fits that category; Sanders defeated
Clinton here by 22 percentage points in the February primary.
Clinton
was scheduled to fly to New York after her rally with Sanders on
Tuesday for a special peformance of the hit musical “Hamilton,” which is
also doubling as a fundraiser for her campaign.
Clinton also
plans later this week with a potential running mate, Sen. Timothy M.
Kaine, D-Va. The two are scheduled to appear together Thursday afternoon
in Annandale. Virginia is among the eight battleground states that
Clinton is targeting with television advertising.

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