Bernie Sanders endorses Hillary Clinton for U.S. president

Senator Bernie Sanders, (D-VT) officially endorses former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the presumptive Democratic nominee for U.S. president. July 12, 2016. (Photo Credit: Livestream via Facebook user Bernie Sanders)

Democrat Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton for president during a joint Tuesday appearance in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. FSRN’s Jacob Resneck has more.

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With the former first lady and secretary of state nodding and smiling by his side, Bernie Sanders said that it’s imperative that voters nationwide help Hillary Clinton defeat the presumptive Republican nominee in November.

“While Donald Trump is busy insulting Mexicans and Muslims and women and African-Americans and our veterans, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths,” Sanders told the crowd.

Sanders claimed that thanks to his presidential campaign’s strong showing across the country, his team has successfully changed what the Democratic Party stands for.

“It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues. That is what this campaign has been about, that is what democracy is about,” Sanders said. “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 and we produced by far the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party.”

It’s true that Sanders’ team was able to add more forceful language committing the party to fight climate change. They also won a pledge for increased federal spending on health care and support for a $15 federal minimum wage.

But Sanders’ allies were unable to get a firm commitment by the DNC to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a trade pact that environmentalists and labor unions say would allow corporations to challenge national laws and regulations that protect labor rights, the environment and privacy, on the grounds that they impede profits. Those challenges would be heard outside the U.S. legal system.

After Sanders spoke for nearly half an hour, it was Clinton’s turn to take the podium.

“Thank you so much. I have to say it is such a great privilege to be here with Senator Sanders, being here with him in New Hampshire, I can’t help but reflect how much more enjoyable this campaign is going to be now that we are on the same side,” she said.

The former secretary of state briefly addressed growing unrest in U.S. cities about police violence, especially in communities of color. Daily marches in many cities continue to be forcibly dispersed and polarization between communities and police continues, after  seven people died last week – two black citizens and five police officers.

But in her remarks, Clinton tread a fine line, calling for better dialogue between police agencies and the communities they are sworn to protect: “Because everyone in every community benefits when there is respect for the law and when everyone is respected by the law.”

She then pivoted, and decried the endemic gun violence in American cities.

“From Sandy Hook to Orlando to Dallas and so many other places, these tragedies tear at our soul. And so too the incidents that don’t even dominate the headlines. Just this past Sunday a young man – Seth Rich – who worked for the Democratic National Committee to expand voting rights, was shot and killed in his neighborhood in Washington,” Clinton said. “He was just 27-years-old. Surely we can agree that weapons of war have no place on the streets of America.”

Clinton is now expected to be handily nominated during the party’s convention in Philadelphia which runs from July 25 to 28.

Progressive groups, from “Black Lives Matter” to “Occupy the DNC,” are working to mobilize a large turnout on the streets to pressure the party to make meaningful pledges on issues ranging from holding law enforcement accountable to rising inequality.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday that the city has taken out a $1.2 million insurance plan in anticipation of lawsuits relating to conduct by city police. The insurance policy is being paid for with the US Justice Department’s $43 million security grant to the city.

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