PORTSMOUTH, New Hampshire, July 12, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday morning officially endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, his former rival, for the Democratic part nomination and the office of president.
“This campaign is about needs of American people…,” Sanders said. “As we head into November, Hillary Clinton is far and away the best candidate to do that.”
Sanders thanked the 13 million voters who voted for him during the Democratic primaries, then moved his focus onto the continued fight for reform ahead.
“Together, we have begun a political revolution to transform America, and that fight continues,” Sanders said. “Together, we will continue to fight for a government that represents all of us and not just the 1 percent.”
“Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process, and I congratulate her for that,” Sanders said. “She will be the democratic nominee for president, and I intend to do everything I can do to make sure she will be the next president of the United States.”
Sanders went on to list some of the reforms he said were needed to make America stronger, including changes in the mental health community, the need for students to have access to a college education that did not leave them deep in debt, and an increased focus on clean energy.
“She (Clinton) understands we must work with countries around the world in transforming our energy system away from fossil fuel,” to clean and sustainable energy sources, Sanders said. “In that way, we can create a lot of good-paying jobs.”
Trump wants to expand the use of fossil fuel, Sanders said.
“That would be a disaster for our country and the entire world,” he said.
Sanders called for prison reform and the repair of “a broken justice system.”
“Secretary Clinton understands that we do not need to have more people in jail than any other country in the world at an expense of $80 trillion a year.”
Sanders said like him, Clinton “… understands that diversity is one of our greatest strengths,” and called for people of different races, religions, sexual orientations and ages to stand together and “… join the fight to rid this country of all forms of bigotry.”
“It’s no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues,” Sanders said, adding that recent meetings had resulted ” … a significant coming together between the two campaigns, and we produced by far the most progressive platform in this history of the history of the democratic party. Our job is now to see that platform implemented by a Democratically controlled Senate, a Democratically controlled house, and a Hillary Clinton presidency.”
Before yielding the podium to Clinton, Sanders said she cares about health care and the rights of children.
“I know her and all of you know her as one of the most intelligent people who we have ever met,” he said. “Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president, and I am proud to stand with her today.”
Clinton echoed most or all of the topics Sanders had addressed, including the need to put college within the reach of more people, the need for everyone to have affordable health care, and the need for greater communication, equity and respect in issues of race.
Clinton joked that Sanders’ ideas had not always made him popular in Washington, D.C.
“You know what?” she asked. “That’s that’s general a sign you are doing something right.”
Clinton thanked Sanders for inspiring young people, and “a lifetime of fighting injustice.”
“I am proud to be fighting along side you, because, my friends, this a time for us to stand together.”
Clinton named five issues as her top priorities to begin dealing with in her first 100 days in office, should she be elected.
• She hopes to create new jobs, especially in the energy field, and to raise the minimum wage.
“Bernie is right, $7.25 is a starvation wage,” Clinton said. “Sorry, Donald, if you’re watching. We’re not cutting the minimum wage, we’re raising the minimum wage.
• She plans to make college debt-free for all who attend public colleges, and free for children of families who make less than $125,000 per year.
• She plans to write new rules for companies that ship jobs and profits overseas, and reward companies that “share the wealth with employees instead.” Clinton also intends to “… make sure Wall Street can never wreck Main Street again.”
• Clinton plans to “… make sure the super-rich pay their fair share in taxes.”
• And Clinton said she would expand Social Security “… to meet today’s realities, not to cut it or privatize it,” she said. “Let’s join the rest of the developed world and offer paid family leave. And finally, let’s guarantee equal pay for women once and for all.”
Clinton said that if a focus on protecting familes, women and minorities is playing the “woman card,” as Trump has said, “… then deal me in.”
Clinton talked about election reform, both in matters of funding and in making sure everyone can vote. She closed by saying she was grateful to be standing with Sanders.
“Both of us realize both of our campaigns together represent the best of who we are, and it is time to take that message to the rest of the world.”