Former candidate for the Democratic nomination urges party unity in speech at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.
To both tears and cheers, former presidential nominee Bernie Sanders took the podium at the Democratic National Convention to urge his supporters to come together and vote for Hillary Clinton, telling them they cannot “sit out” the election.
Amid a hearty welcome and sustained applause that lasted almost three minutes, Sanders told his followers that Clinton “must become the next president of the United States”, and urged unity.
Sticking carefully to his script, the Vermont senator painted a picture of a dark America should Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, win the elections in November.
“Take a moment to think about the Supreme Court justices that Donald Trump would nominate and what that would mean to civil liberties, equal rights and the future of our country,” he warned the crowds clad in T-shirts and waving signs bearing his name.
While clutching his hands to articulate togetherness, Sanders spoke about both camps working to create the party’s “most progressive platform”, which now included anti-Wall Street provisions and opposition to “job-killing free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership”.
Amid shouts of “Bernie, Bernie”, he acknowledged that the primary season had divided the party, which was recently hit with an email leak that showed Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz expressing favoritism to Clinton.
“I understand that many people here in this convention hall and around the country are disappointed about the final results of the nominating process,” Sanders said.
“I think it’s fair to say that no one is more disappointed than I am. But to all of our supporters – here and around the country – I hope you take enormous pride in the historical accomplishments we have achieved.”