Sanders Endorses Clinton at Joint 'Stronger Together' Rally in New Hampshire
Dueling chants of 'Hillary!' and 'Bernie!' set stage for occasionally fraught joint rally
At a joint rally on Tuesday morning in Portsmouth, New Hampshire called "Stronger Together," Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, as expected.
The new show of political unity was not without moments of contention from the audience.
When New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan attempted to start a chant of "Hillary! Hillary!" during an introductory speech, chants of "Bernie! Bernie!" drowned out Clinton supporters.
A "Still Bernie" sign also took over the bottom half of a live CSPAN feed during an early portion of the proceedings, and those in attendance posted photos of a large crowd of Sanders supporters.
— Jordan (@JordanChariton) July 12, 2016
Yet the two leading presidential candidates strove to show a united front.
After walking onstage as the Bruce Springsteen song "We Take Care of Our Own" thundered over the speakers, Clinton and Sanders stood together behind the podium while Sanders delivered the first speech wherein he conceded that Clinton "won the Democratic nominating contest" and endorsed her candidacy for president.
An enormous cheer erupted from the crowd at Sanders' endorsement, but not everyone in the audience was pleased: one reporter tweeted that around "30-40 Sanders supporters just walked out on Bernie endorsing Hillary in a single line in front of the press."
Others applauded the endorsement. The grassroots group Progressive Change Campaign Committee released a statement arguing that "Bernie Sanders' endorsement is the latest proof that the Democratic Party is increasingly unified around big, bold, progressive ideas—and that is good for Democrats in November."
I am proud of the campaign we ran here in New Hampshire and across the country. Our campaign won the primaries and caucuses in 22 states, and when the roll call at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia is announced it will show that we won almost 1,900 delegates. That is a lot of delegates, far more than almost anyone thought we could win. But it is not enough to win the nomination. Secretary Clinton goes into the convention with 389 more pledged delegates than we have and a lot more super delegates.
Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process, and I congratulate her for that. 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.
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. 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.
The Vermont senator proceeded to touch once again on many of the core issues of his campaign—such as income inequality, universal healthcare, and debt-free higher education—but this time explained why he feels that Clinton will fight for those causes.
"Hillary Clinton understands that we must fix an economy in America that is rigged and that sends almost all new wealth and income to the top one percent," Sanders said. "Hillary Clinton understands that if someone in America works 40 hours a week, that person should not be living in poverty. She believes that we should raise the minimum wage to a living wage. And she wants to create millions of new jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure—our roads, bridges, water systems and wastewater plants."
Much of Sanders' speech centered around the differences between Clinton and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump: "If you don’t believe this election is important, take a moment to think about the Supreme Court justices that Donald Trump will nominate, and what that means to civil liberties, equal rights and the future of our country," he said.
"It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues," Sanders added as he concluded his speech. "That's what this campaign has been about. That's what democracy is about."
"But I am happy to tell you that at the Democratic Platform Committee which ended Sunday night in Orlando, there was a significant coming together between the two campaigns," Sanders continued, "and we produced, by far, the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party. Our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House and a Hillary Clinton president—and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen."
Many progressives, however, were disappointed by the Democratic Party platform finalized in Orlando on Sunday. Indeed, some observers watching Tuesday's rally called on Clinton to adopt some of the progressive stances that were not included in the platform:
— Josh Fox (@joshfoxfilm) July 12, 2016
When Sanders finished speaking, the two candidates hugged and Clinton could be heard on the microphone telling the senator, "That was great. That was so great."
As Clinton began to talk, one pro-Sanders heckler started shouting from the crowd, and the senator waved and shushed her from the stage.
Clinton proceeded to give a speech that called for conciliation between police departments and the communities they serve, referring to the recent shootings in Minnesota, Louisiana, and Texas, and the protests against police violence nationwide.
Her speech went on to include many of Sanders' touchstones: affordable higher education, a fairer tax structure, tackling climate change, overturning Citizens United, and reforming the Voting Rights Act, among other progressive stances.
"I think America's best years are ahead of us," Clinton concluded her speech, calling on the crowd to make sure that she is elected president in November.