On Tuesday in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders delivered a ringing endorsement of every policy that he and Hillary Clinton mutually support. He also put in a good word or two about the candidate herself.
Sanders began by reminding his supporters that the “political revolution” was never intended to be about a single candidate or election cycle — and that the revolution’s next strategic priority must be to elect Hillary Clinton.
“Together we have begun a political revolution to transform America, and that revolution continues,” the Vermont senator said, standing in front of a nodding Clinton, a large American flag, and several banners stamped with the slogan “Stronger Together.” “I have come here today not to talk about the past but to focus on the future. That future will be shaped more by what happens on November 8 in voting booths across our nation than by any other event in the world.”
“This campaign is not about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, or any other candidate. It is about the needs of the American people and addressing the very serious crises that we face,” he said. “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.”
Sanders reminded voters of the sorry shape the country was in when George W. Bush moved out of the White House. He praised President Obama for guiding the country out of a recession. But then Sanders reiterated the central premise of his primary campaign — that Obama’s reforms have not been adequate for addressing the crisis of economic inequality.
“I think we can all agree much, much more needs to be done,” Sanders said. “In the richest country in the history of the world, there is too much poverty, there is too much despair. This election is about the single mother I saw in Nevada who, with tears in her eyes, told me she was scared to death of her future because she and her daughter were not getting by on the $10.40 an hour she was making.”
Sanders proceeded to make his way through his stump speech’s parade of outrages, favorably comparing Clinton’s policy response to each injustice to that of Donald Trump.
“Hillary Clinton understands that if someone in America works 40 hours a week, that person should not be living in poverty. She believes, we all believe, that we must raise the minimum wage to a living wage,” Sanders said. “But her opponent, Donald Trump, has a very different view. He thinks that states should have the right to lower the minimum wage or even abolish the concept of the minimum wage.”
Sanders went on to praise Clinton’s taste in Supreme Court justices, her belief in climate science, and the consensus health-care plan that their campaigns recently unveiled, which includes a public option, Medicare buy-in for anyone over 55, and a dramatic expansion in community health centers — Sanders’s main contribution to the Affordable Care Act.
Significantly, Sanders signaled that he would not contest the Democratic platform in Philadelphia. The initial goal of Sanders’s candidacy was to move the Democratic Party in his ideological direction. On Tuesday, the senator declared victory on that score.
“It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues. That is what this campaign is about, that’s what democracy is about. But at the platform committee, there was a significant coming together of the two campaigns, and we produced by far the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party,” Sanders said to raucous applause. “Our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratically controlled Senate, a Democratically controlled House, and a Hillary Clinton presidency. And I intend to be in every corner of this country to make certain that happens.”
Finally, Sanders championed Clinton personally, praising her push for universal health care as First Lady and her advocacy for the rights of children in the Senate, while noting that she is “one of the most intelligent people” he has ever met.
Clinton returned this kindness by rejecting Sanders’s offer of a handshake, insisting on a hug instead.
Clinton then thanked Sanders for his campaign and the “lifetime of fighting injustice” that preceded it.
“His reputation for passionate advocacy hasn’t made him the most popular person on Washington,” Clinton said. “But you know what, that’s generally a sign you’re doing something right.”
Donald Trump, meanwhile, hopes Sanders supporters will see Clinton’s praise as a sign that the democratic socialist has done something wrong.
Watch the highlights here: