Clinton receives endorsement from Sanders
PORTSMOUTH, NH (AP):
Bernie Sanders, whose calls for a political revolution energised millions of voters, bestowed his long-awaited endorsement on Hillary Clinton yesterday, the Democratic former rivals embracing and praising each other before a cheering crowd of thousands.
Just two weeks shy of the Democratic National Convention, Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, congratulated Clinton for winning the nomination and vowed to do everything he could to help her beat presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.
"It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues - that's what this campaign has been about," Sanders said.
But he added, "This campaign is not really about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, or any other candidate who sought the presidency. This campaign is about the needs of the American people and addressing the very serious crises that we face."
With a huge smile, Clinton embraced Sanders and they raised their arms in a traditional unity pose.
Clinton told the crowd, which included some Sanders supporters who have been slow to come to Clinton's side, that she was overjoyed to welcome "friends, old and new." She echoed her campaign slogan, telling the crowd "we are stronger together."
With the convention approaching, Sanders said there has "been a significant coming together between the two campaigns 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".
Democrats have coalesced around Clinton's candidacy since she defeated Sanders in primaries last month in California and five other states, led by endorsements from President Barack Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden and others.
Sanders has spent the past month seeking to influence the party's platform for the Philadelphia convention and promote electoral reforms, including allowing independents to participate in future primaries. The platform includes many of his proposals, including a US$15 an hour minimum wage, tougher restrictions on Wall Street and an end to the death penalty.
The event at a Portsmouth high school sought to project Democratic unity before Republicans formally nominate Trump next week.