Obama Endorses Clinton, As Sanders Vows To Fight On for Progressive Future
Vermont senator speaks to reporters amid meetings with president, other leaders
After an hour-long meeting with President Barack Obama on Thursday afternoon, Bernie Sanders spoke briefly to reporters outside the White House pledging that his campaign will continue the "political revolution" and encouraged his supporters not to give up on the key issues that have raised their political passions.
Just minutes later, the Hillary Clinton campaign released a video of Obama offering his official endorsement of the former secretary of state.
Those speculating that Sanders might concede after rival Hillary Clinton won the California primary on Tuesday, clearing the path for her to take the Democratic nomination, were proven wrong. Even as Sanders warned of the "disaster" of a Donald Trump presidency and vowed to work tirelessly to defeat the Republicans' presumptive nominee, Sanders promised to fight for the ideals of his own campaign through to the end—including the Democratic National Committee (DNC) convention in July.
Sanders mentioned some of his signature campaign platforms, including addressing the issue of poverty in a wealthy country, the cost of college education, and rising economic inequality between the middle class and the billionaire elite.
"These are the issues that we will take to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia at the end of July," Sanders said. Watch his statement below:
Regarding Trump, Sanders said the real estate mogul "would be a disaster as president of the United States. It is unbelievable to me...that the Republican Party would have a candidate for president who, in the year 2016, makes bigotry and discrimination the cornerstone of his campaign."
"The American people will not vote for or tolerate [a candidate] who insults Mexicans and Latinos, who insults Muslims, who insults African-Americans, and women," Sanders said. "I'm going to do everything in my power, I am going to work as hard as I can, to make sure Donald Trump will not become president of the United States."
And, while the Vermont senator said he had spoken with Clinton to offer congratulations on her campaign, he reiterated that the race was not over until it was over—and that also meant waiting for the final results from the June 7 contest.
"I look forward to the full counting of the votes in California, which I suspect will show a much closer vote than the current vote tally," he said.
He also assured supporters he would be competing in the Washington, D.C. primary on June 14—the final nominating contest—and added that he supports statehood for the district, which has a similar amount of residents to his adopted home state of Vermont.
But he concluded with a hint toward Democratic Party's so-called 'unity' that many in the establishment have blamed Sanders for impeding, saying he looks forward to meeting with Clinton in the near future "to see how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump and create a government that works for all of us, and not just the one percent."
Following the press conference, Sanders continued on to meetings with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and other elected officials.
Obama's video endorsement of Clinton follows: