Washington, June 10, AZERTAC
Barack Obama launched a coordinated push to unify Democrats against Donald Trump on Thursday, formally endorsing Hillary Clinton for the first time after a conciliatory meeting with her primary opponent Bernie Sanders, according to the Guardian.
In a rapid sequence of events in Washington that contrasted with renewed rancor among Republicans, Sanders emerged from the Oval Office peace talks with the president to say he was now prepared to meet Clinton and work with her after losing Tuesday's primary elections.
"I spoke briefly to Secretary Clinton on Tuesday night and I congratulated her on her very strong campaign," the Vermont senator told a throng of reporters outside the West Wing. "I look forward to meeting with her in the near future to see how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump and to create a government that represents all of us and not just the 1%."
But within an hour the meeting was upstaged by Obama's own, more emphatic endorsement of his former secretary of state, which was confirmed in a video released by the Clinton campaign.
"I'm with her," said Obama, in remarks recorded on Tuesday. "I don't think there has ever been someone so qualified to hold this office," he added, in pointed contrast to a claim made by Sanders in April.
"She's got the courage, the compassion, and the heart to get the job done … I have seen her judgment," said the president. "I've seen her toughness. I've seen her commitment to our values up close. And I've seen her determination to give every American a fair shot at opportunity, no matter how tough the fight – that's what's always driven her, and still does."
Obama had until now remained on the sidelines during the Democratic primary, lending praise to both Clinton and Sanders throughout the contest but maintaining an aura of caution. The president was nonetheless widely expected to endorse Clinton and last met privately with his former secretary of state in December at the White House.