PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) – Bernie Sanders is at last endorsing Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for president.
The Vermont senator stood side-by-side with Clinton in Portsmouth, N.H., Tuesday. He pledged that his “political revolution” would continue. But he acknowledged that she, and not he, had won the delegates to snag the nomination. That has been true for weeks, and Democrats have not-so-quietly been angling for him to drop out and endorse the former secretary of state.
Sanders promised to work to help Clinton win in November, calling her “far and away the best candidate” to confront challenges facing the country.
Republican Donald Trump has been trying to draw Sanders supporters to his campaign.
The joint event at a Portsmouth high school will seek to project Democratic unity before Republicans formally nominate Trump next week in Cleveland. Clinton has campaigned with President Barack Obama and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in recent weeks, warning Democrats of the threat of a Trump presidency.
While Clinton took only a few days to endorse Obama after the primaries in 2008, Sanders has held out for the past month, seeking to influence the party’s platform and future. The Democratic candidates met at a Washington hotel in June and their campaigns have been in frequent contact since then.
Clinton last week rolled out proposals on college affordability and access to health care, winning praise from Sanders, and the platform agreed to last weekend in Florida includes many of Sanders’ priorities, including a $15 an hour minimum wage.
Recent polls have shown that many Sanders voters plan to back Clinton but have reservations about her honesty. Sanders has said he will do all he can to prevent Trump from winning the White House and the senator’s vouching for Clinton could help her with the independents, liberals and millennials who flocked to his primary campaign.
The Vermont senator saw his longshot bid for the White House quickly catch fire in 2015 at large-scale rallies where he denounced income inequality, the influence of Wall Street and the role of big money in politics.
His campaign was powered by an impressive online fundraising machine that raised more than $200 million and threatened Clinton’s once overwhelming lead in the primaries with the help of voters drawn to his anti-establishment message.
Sanders’ unruly white hair and glasses was often depicted in campaign offices and on T-shirts and a campaign catch-phrase, “Feel the Bern,” marked his rise online. Comedian Larry David portrayed Sanders on “Saturday Night Live” and the senator made an appearance on the show before the New Hampshire primary.
Sanders’ challenge influenced Clinton’s shift to the left on several issues, including her opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline between Canada and the U.S. and her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement.