It’s official, Bernie Sanders gives the nod to Hillary.
Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton for president Tuesday at a rally in New Hampshire, ending a protracted Democratic primary battle in the state where the Vermont senator won his first victory.
“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 United States,” Sanders said, according to prepared remarks. “I have come here to make it as clear as possible as to why I am endorsing Hillary Clinton and why she must become our next president.”
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The endorsement theoretically unites the Democratic Party behind Clinton, but questions remain as to how many of Sanders’ supporters will fall in line behind the former secretary of state after such a hotly-contested primary.
Many of Sanders’ supporters were drawn to him because of his status as a progressive and independent voice willing to shake up Washington. Clinton, the consummate political insider, could be a tough sell for Sanders voters who spent the primary expressing skepticism towards her connections to Wall Street and other outside influencers.
Sanders’ endorsement also marks an official end to a Democratic primary that in reality ended June 7 when Clinton won California’s Democratic primary and solidified her position as the party’s presumptive nominee. The Vermont senator refused to drop out of the race, though, instead leveraging his considerable delegate count by pushing for more progressive positions in the Democratic Party’s platform.
The Vermont senator successfully pushed the party to adopt more progressive planks on climate change, health care and a $15 minimum wage, but was unable to push the party’s platform committee to adopt language opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Satisfied with his victories, Sanders agreed to appear with Clinton Tuesday to “discuss their commitment to building an America that is stronger together and an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top,” according to releases from both campaigns.
“This campaign is about the needs of the American people and addressing the very serious crises that we face,” he continued. “And there is no doubt in my mind that, as we head into November, Hillary Clinton is far and away the best candidate to do that.”