NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Bernie Sanders endorses Hillary Clinton

Ver­mont Sen­a­tor Bernie Sanders made his first joint appear­ance with pre­sump­tive Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Hillary Clin­ton in Portsmouth, New Hamp­shire today, declar­ing that he intends to do every­thing he can to help Clin­ton win in Novem­ber, and ensure that Don­ald Trump is defeated.

Sanders used his endorse­ment speech to draw as many con­trasts between Clin­ton and Trump as he could, point­ing out that Trump, who is unpre­pared and unqual­i­fied to be Com­man­der-in-Chief, would drag the coun­try back­ward if he were elect­ed. Trump “would be a dis­as­ter for our coun­try and our plan­et,” Sanders said.

He tout­ed the areas where he and Clin­ton are in agree­ment, from edu­ca­tion to health­care to fight­ing the cli­mate cri­sis to reduc­ing big mon­ey in politics.

“It is no secret that Hlil­lary Clin­ton and I dis­agree on a num­ber of issues… that is what democ­ra­cy about,” Sanders said, going on to praise his del­e­gates and Clin­ton’s del­e­gates for work­ing hard togeth­er recent­ly to pro­duce “the most pro­gres­sive plat­form” the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty has ever seen.

“Our job now is to see that plat­form imple­ment­ed by a Demo­c­ra­t­i­cal­ly-con­trolled Sen­ate, a Demo­c­ra­t­i­cal­ly-con­trolled House, and a Hillary Clin­ton pres­i­den­cy.… I intend to be in every cor­ner of this coun­try to make cer­tain this happens.”

Clin­ton nod­ded and occa­sion­al­ly clapped as Sanders spoke.

“Hillary Clin­ton will make an out­stand­ing Pres­i­dent, and I am proud to stand with her today,” Sanders said, con­clud­ing his speech.

UPDATE: Hillary Clin­ton has now spo­ken as well. She deliv­ered a pow­er­ful speech prais­ing Sanders’ cam­paign, thank­ing his sup­port­ers for their efforts to go all out for Bernie, and embrac­ing many of the caus­es that Sanders’ cam­paign was about.

This speech showed just how effec­tive and impor­tant Sanders’ cam­paign has been. Bernie Sanders and the mil­lions of peo­ple who sup­port­ed him have made Hillary Clin­ton’s cam­paign bold­er, more pro­gres­sive, and more attuned to the needs of the peo­ple. Today’s uni­ty event was proof that Sanders’ influ­ence is being felt in a big way. Clin­ton did an effec­tive job of link­ing arms with Sanders and call­ing for uni­ty in her speech, again and again pro­mot­ing and rein­forc­ing ideas root­ed in the core pro­gres­sive val­ues of empa­thy and responsibility.

The fol­low­ing is the text of Bernie Sanders’ pre­pared remarks.

Let me begin by thank­ing the 13 mil­lion Amer­i­cans who vot­ed for me dur­ing the Demo­c­ra­t­ic primaries.

Let me also thank the peo­ple here in New Hamp­shire who gave us our first big win and a spe­cial thanks to the peo­ple of Ver­mont whose sup­port for so many years has sus­tained me.

Let me also thank the hun­dreds of thou­sands of vol­un­teers in every state in our coun­try who worked so hard on our cam­paign and the mil­lions of our con­trib­u­tors who showed the world that we could run a suc­cess­ful nation­al cam­paign based on small indi­vid­ual con­tri­bu­tions – 2 12 mil­lion of them.

Togeth­er, we have begun a polit­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion to trans­form Amer­i­ca and that rev­o­lu­tion con­tin­ues. Togeth­er, we con­tin­ue the fight to cre­ate a gov­ern­ment which rep­re­sents all of us, and not just the one per­cent – a gov­ern­ment based on the prin­ci­ples of eco­nom­ic, social, racial and envi­ron­men­tal justice.

I am proud of the cam­paign we ran here in New Hamp­shire and across the coun­try. Our cam­paign won the pri­maries and cau­cus­es in 22 states, and when the roll call at the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion in Philadel­phia is announced it will show that we won almost 1,900 del­e­gates. That is a lot of del­e­gates, far more than almost any­one thought we could win. But it is not enough to win the nomination.

Sec­re­tary Clin­ton goes into the con­ven­tion with 389 more pledged del­e­gates than we have and a lot more super delegates.

Sec­re­tary Clin­ton has won the Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­nat­ing process, and I con­grat­u­late her for that. She will be the Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­nee for pres­i­dent and I intend to do every­thing I can to make cer­tain she will be the next pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States.

I have come here today not to talk about the past but to focus on the future. That future will be shaped more by what hap­pens on Novem­ber 8 in vot­ing booths across our nation than by any oth­er event in the world. I have come here to make it as clear as pos­si­ble as to why I am endors­ing Hillary Clin­ton and why she must become our next president.

Dur­ing the last year I had the extra­or­di­nary oppor­tu­ni­ty to speak to more than 1.4 mil­lion Amer­i­cans at ral­lies in almost every state in this coun­try. I was also able to meet with many thou­sands of oth­er peo­ple at small­er gatherings.

And the pro­found les­son that I have learned from all of that is that 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.

And there is no doubt in my mind that, as we head into Novem­ber, Hillary Clin­ton is far and away the best can­di­date to do that.

It is easy to for­get where we were sev­en and a half years ago when Pres­i­dent Oba­ma came into office. As a result of the greed, reck­less­ness and ille­gal behav­ior on Wall Street, our econ­o­my was in the worst eco­nom­ic down­turn since the Great Depres­sion. Some 800,000 peo­ple a month were los­ing their jobs, we were run­ning up a record-break­ing deficit of $1.4 tril­lion dol­lars and the world’s finan­cial sys­tem was on the verge of col­lapse. We have come a long way in the last sev­en and a half years and I thank Pres­i­dent Oba­ma and Vice Pres­i­dent Biden for their lead­er­ship in pulling us out of that ter­ri­ble recession.

But, I think we can all agree, much, much more needs to be done. Too many peo­ple in Amer­i­ca are still being left out, left behind and ignored. In the rich­est coun­try in the his­to­ry of the world there is too much pover­ty, and too much despair.

This elec­tion is about the sin­gle mom I saw in Neva­da who, with tears in her eyes, told me that she was scared to death about the future because she and her young daugh­ter were not mak­ing it on the $10.45 cents an hour she was earn­ing. This elec­tion is about that woman, and the mil­lions of oth­er work­ers in this coun­try who are falling fur­ther and fur­ther behind as they try to sur­vive on total­ly inad­e­quate wages.

Hillary Clin­ton under­stands that we must fix an econ­o­my in Amer­i­ca that is rigged and that sends almost all new wealth and income to the top one per­cent. Hillary Clin­ton under­stands that if some­one in Amer­i­ca works 40 hours a week, that per­son should not be liv­ing in pover­ty. She believes that we should raise the min­i­mum wage to a liv­ing wage. And she wants to cre­ate mil­lions of new jobs by rebuild­ing our crum­bling infra­struc­ture. – our roads, bridges, water sys­tems and waste­water plants.

But her oppo­nent – Don­ald Trump – well, he has a very dif­fer­ent view. He believes that states should have the right to low­er the min­i­mum wage or even abol­ish the con­cept of the min­i­mum wage alto­geth­er. If Don­ald Trump is elect­ed, we will see no increase in the fed­er­al min­i­mum wage of $7.25 per hour – a star­va­tion wage.

This elec­tion is about which can­di­date will nom­i­nate Supreme Court jus­tices who are pre­pared to over­turn the dis­as­trous Cit­i­zens Unit­ed deci­sion which allows bil­lion­aires to buy elec­tions and under­mine our democ­ra­cy; about who will appoint new jus­tices on the Supreme Court who will defend a woman’s right to choose, the rights of the LGBT com­mu­ni­ty, work­ers’ rights, the needs of minori­ties and immi­grants, and the government’s abil­i­ty to pro­tect the environment.

If you don’t believe this elec­tion is impor­tant, take a moment to think about the Supreme Court jus­tices that Don­ald Trump will nom­i­nate, and what that means to civ­il lib­er­ties, equal rights and the future of our country.

This cam­paign is about mov­ing the Unit­ed States toward uni­ver­sal health care and reduc­ing the num­ber of peo­ple who are unin­sured or under-insured. Hillary Clin­ton wants to see that all Amer­i­cans have the right to choose a pub­lic option in their health care exchange, which will low­er the cost of health care.

She also believes that any­one 55 years or old­er should be able to opt in to Medicare and she wants to see mil­lions more Amer­i­cans gain access to pri­ma­ry health care, den­tal care, men­tal health coun­sel­ing and low-cost pre­scrip­tion drugs through a major expan­sion of com­mu­ni­ty health cen­ters through­out this country.

Hillary is com­mit­ted to see­ing thou­sands of young doc­tors, nurs­es, psy­chol­o­gists, den­tists and oth­er med­ical pro­fes­sion­als prac­tice in under­served areas as we fol­low through on Pres­i­dent Obama’s idea of tripling fund­ing for the Nation­al Health Ser­vice Corps.

In New Hamp­shire, in Ver­mont and across the coun­try we have a major epi­dem­ic of opi­ate and hero­in addiction.

Peo­ple are dying every day from over­dos­es. Hillary Clin­ton under­stands that if we are seri­ous about address­ing this cri­sis we need major changes in the way we deliv­er men­tal health treat­ment. That’s what expand­ing com­mu­ni­ty health cen­ters will do and that is what get­ting med­ical per­son­nel into the areas we need them most will do.

And what is Don­ald Trump’s posi­tion on health care? No sur­prise there. Same old, same old Repub­li­can con­tempt for work­ing fam­i­lies. He wants to abol­ish the Afford­able Care Act, throw 20 mil­lion peo­ple off of the health insur­ance they cur­rent­ly have and cut Med­ic­aid for low­er-income Americans.

The last thing we need today in Amer­i­ca is a pres­i­dent who doesn’t care about whether mil­lions will lose access to the health care cov­er­age that they des­per­ate­ly need. We need more peo­ple with access to qual­i­ty health care, not fewer.

Hillary Clin­ton also under­stands that mil­lions of seniors, dis­abled vets and oth­ers are strug­gling with the out­ra­geous­ly high cost of pre­scrip­tion drugs. She and I are in agree­ment that Medicare must nego­ti­ate drug prices with the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal indus­try and that we must expand the use of gener­ic medicine.

Drug com­pa­nies should not be mak­ing bil­lions in prof­its while one in five Amer­i­cans are unable to afford the med­i­cine they need. The greed of the drug com­pa­nies must end.

This elec­tion is about the grotesque lev­el of income and wealth inequal­i­ty that cur­rent­ly exists, the worst it has been since 1928.

Hillary Clin­ton knows that some­thing is very wrong when the very rich become rich­er while many oth­ers are work­ing longer hours for low­er wages. She knows that it is absurd that mid­dle-class Amer­i­cans are pay­ing an effec­tive tax rate high­er than hedge fund mil­lion­aires, and that there are cor­po­ra­tions in this coun­try mak­ing bil­lions in prof­it while they pay no fed­er­al income tax­es in a giv­en year because of loop­holes their lob­by­ists created.

While Hillary Clin­ton sup­ports mak­ing our tax code fair­er, Don­ald Trump wants to give hun­dreds of bil­lions of dol­lars in tax breaks to the very wealth­i­est peo­ple in this coun­try. His reck­less eco­nom­ic poli­cies will not only exac­er­bate income and wealth inequal­i­ty, they would increase our nation­al debt by tril­lions of dollars.

This elec­tion is about the thou­sands of young peo­ple I have met who have left col­lege deeply in debt, the many oth­ers who can­not afford to go to col­lege and the need for this coun­try to have the best edu­cat­ed work­force in the world if we are to com­pete effec­tive­ly in a high­ly com­pet­i­tive glob­al economy.

Hillary Clin­ton believes that we must sub­stan­tial­ly low­er stu­dent debt, and that we must make pub­lic col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties tuition free for the mid­dle class and work­ing fam­i­lies of this country.

This is a major ini­tia­tive that will rev­o­lu­tion­ize high­er edu­ca­tion in this coun­try and improve the lives of millions.

Think of what it will mean when every child in this coun­try, regard­less of the income of their fam­i­ly, knows that if they study hard and do well in school – yes, they will be able to get a col­lege edu­ca­tion and leave school with­out debt.

This elec­tion is about cli­mate change, the great­est envi­ron­men­tal cri­sis fac­ing our plan­et, and the need to leave this world in a way that is healthy and hab­it­able for our kids and future gen­er­a­tions. Hillary Clin­ton is lis­ten­ing to the sci­en­tists who tell us that if we do not act bold­ly in the very near future there will be more drought, more floods, more acid­i­fi­ca­tion of the oceans, more ris­ing sea levels.

She under­stands that we must work with coun­tries around the world in trans­form­ing our ener­gy sys­tem away from fos­sil fuels and into ener­gy effi­cien­cy and sus­tain­able ener­gy – and that when we do that we can cre­ate a whole lot of good pay­ing jobs.

Don­ald Trump: Well, like most Repub­li­cans, he choos­es to reject sci­ence – some­thing no pres­i­den­tial can­di­date should do.He believes that cli­mate change is a hoax. In fact, he wants to expand the use of fos­sil fuel. That would be a dis­as­ter for our coun­try and our planet.

This elec­tion is about the lead­er­ship we need to pass com­pre­hen­sive immi­gra­tion reform and repair a bro­ken crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem. It’s about mak­ing sure that young peo­ple in this coun­try are in good schools or at good jobs, not in jail cells. Sec­re­tary Clin­ton under­stands that we don’t need to have more peo­ple in jail than any oth­er coun­try on earth, at an expense of $80 bil­lion a year.

In these stress­ful times for our coun­try, this elec­tion must be about bring­ing our peo­ple togeth­er, not divid­ing us up.

While Don­ald Trump is busy insult­ing Mex­i­cans, Mus­lims, women, African Amer­i­cans and vet­er­ans, Hillary Clin­ton under­stands that our diver­si­ty is one of our great­est strengths.

Yes. We become stronger when black and white, Lati­no, Asian Amer­i­can, Native Amer­i­can – all of us – stand together.

Yes. We become stronger when men and women, young and old, gay and straight, native born and immi­grant fight to rid this coun­try of all forms of bigotry.

It is no secret that Hillary Clin­ton and I dis­agree on a num­ber of issues. That’s what this cam­paign has been about. That’s what democ­ra­cy is about.

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. 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.

I have known Hillary Clin­ton for 25 years. I remem­ber her as a great first lady who broke prece­dent in terms of the role that a first lady was sup­posed to play as she helped lead the fight for uni­ver­sal health care. I served with her in the Unit­ed States Sen­ate and know her as a fierce advo­cate for the rights of chil­dren. Hillary Clin­ton will make an out­stand­ing pres­i­dent and I am proud to stand with her here today.

POSTSCRIPT: In a note on Face­book, Sanders pledged to trans­form his cam­paign into some­thing more per­ma­nent, telling supporters:

In the com­ing weeks, I will be announc­ing the cre­ation of suc­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tions to car­ry on the strug­gle that we have been a part of these past 15 months. I hope you will con­tin­ue to be involved in fight­ing to trans­form Amer­i­ca. Our goal will be to advance the pro­gres­sive agen­da that we believe in and to elect like-mind­ed can­di­dates at the fed­er­al, state and local lev­els who are com­mit­ted to accom­plish­ing our goals.

Note the use of the word orga­ni­za­tions, plur­al, which sug­gests Sanders and his strate­gists want to build a fam­i­ly of orga­ni­za­tions, as opposed to just one.

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