Sanders Says He’ll Vote for Clinton in Presidential Election

  • Vermont senator tells MSNBC he’ll vote for Democratic opponent
  • Says U.K. Brexit decision carries lessons for U.S. campaign

Senator Bernie Sander pauses as he speaks during a campaign event in New York on June 23, 2016

Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg

Bernie Sanders finally said what Hillary Clinton has been waiting to hear on Friday: she’s got his vote in November.

Asked on MSNBC if he would cast a ballot for his opponent for the Democratic nomination for president, the Vermont senator said simply, “Yes.”

“I’m going to do everything I can to defeat Donald Trump,” said Sanders, who still hasn’t conceded the race to Clinton. “I think Trump in so many ways will be a disaster for this country.”

Stopping short of an endorsement, Sanders said he’s still in negotiations over the party platform and he focused his remarks against Trump rather than in support of Clinton.

“We do not need a president whose cornerstone of his campaign is bigotry. He is insulting Mexicans and Latinos and Muslims and women,” Sanders said. “This is not somebody who should become a president.”

Sanders said in a later interview on CNN that there are lessons for the U.S. presidential campaign in Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. While he supports cooperation between countries to avoid war and conflict, he said the globalization of companies is hurting workers.

Brexit Lessons

“In terms of the global economy, in the EU and in the U.S., while it’s great for CEOs to be running to China and making investments in China, they are forgetting about the millions of people who have lost their jobs,” Sanders said. “We can not ignore the reality of so many people in this country who have been hurt by the global economy.”

During the primary battle, Sanders painted Clinton as too cozy with Wall Street and too entrenched in the political establishment to make a meaningful difference. Many Sanders voters, drawn to his calls for a “political revolution,” believe Clinton represents the status quo. Sanders has fed an impression among his supporters that the rules of the nominating contest were stacked against him from the start, in part because of Clinton’s backing from most party leaders, accentuating the bitterness toward her.

Clinton has been making attempts to appeal to Sanders supporters while at the same time wooing working-class white men who lean toward Trump. She signaled Wednesday that her general election message on the economy is “to make sure economy works for everyone -- not just those at the top, not just for the rich or the well-connected.”

Sanders said on MSNBC that he is still in the race for the Democratic nomination because he needs to represent the people who voted for him at the convention by trying to have their concerns reflected in the party platform.

“My job right now is to fight for the strongest possible platform in the Democratic convention,” he said. “That means a platform that represents working people, that stands up to big money interests.”

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