President Barack Obama is quietly urging Democratic donors to get in line with Hillary Clinton, the New York Times reports.
At a private fundraiser in Austin last Friday, where attendees paid up to $33,400 for a ticket, Obama reportedly said that Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign was nearing its end, and that the former secretary of state, for all her perceived weaknesses—including her seeming lack of authenticity and failure to generate "excitement" for her campaign—would be the best choice to succeed his administration.
The Times reports:
Mr. Obama acknowledged that Mrs. Clinton is perceived to have weaknesses as a candidate, and that some Democrats did not view her as authentic.
But he played down the importance of authenticity, noting that President George W. Bush — whose record he ran aggressively against in 2008 — was once praised for his authenticity.
Obama stopped short of explicitly endorsing Clinton, but "while he stressed that he was not endorsing either candidate, and that both would make good presidents, Mr. Obama went on to lavish praise on Mrs. Clinton, describing her as smart, tough and experienced, and said that she would continue the work of his administration," the Times continued.
Obama's statements came just before Sanders lost a series of primaries to Clinton on Tuesday. But Sanders has reiterated that he has no intention of dropping out of the race, telling supporters in an email on Wednesday, "No one said a political revolution would be easy."
His campaign manager Jeff Weaver and chief strategist Tad Devine told reporters in a press call that they believe the senator could still catch up to Clinton's delegate lead.
"We...think we are going to win this game," Devine said. "We are just not intimidated by the numbers."