Bernie Sanders has said he will vote for Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential election in November, bowing to his rival for the Democratic nomination but stopping short of a full endorsement more than a week after the final primary contests.
Asked on MSNBC whether he would cast his ballot for Clinton, the Vermont senator — who waged a surprisingly tough campaign against the former secretary of state during the primaries — said, “Yes.”
He added: “I will do everything I can to defeat Donald Trump,” referring to the billionaire businessman who is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
“I think Trump, in so many ways, will be a disaster for this country if he were to be elected president,” Sanders told the network, charging that the cornerstone of Trump’s campaign is “bigotry.”
He said in the interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he was “pretty good at arithmetic” and understood that Clinton had won more pledged delegates than he had during their lengthy primary.
But Sanders has yet to call on his supporters to vote for Clinton and has not said whether he would campaign on her behalf. His latest comments seemed more aimed at acknowledging the inevitable while retaining leverage heading into July’s convention; Sanders believes the Democratic party isn’t doing enough to address poverty and to protect the interests of lower-income voters.
Sanders has said repeatedly since the final primary on June 14 that he will not end his presidential campaign until the Democratic convention in Philadelphia. He was making campaign stops on Friday in Albany and Syracuse, New York, to promote his campaign movement and rally supporters on behalf of likeminded congressional candidates.
Clinton earlier this month clinched the delegates required to carry the Democrats’ banner against Trump. While Sanders has acknowledged that he would not be the nominee he has yet to enthusiastically endorse Clinton, pointing to the need for the former New York senator and first lady to voice support for the issues that he staked his campaign on.
He has been signaling the transition of his movement from a presidential run to one aimed at bolstering liberal Democratic candidates for Congress and offices up and down the ballot.