Asked on MSNBC's Morning Joe whether he will vote for Clinton in November, Sanders responded "Yes."Except he's not dropping out, even though he's promised to vote for his opponent:
The Vermont senator, who has not yet formally ended his 2016 campaign, said that stopping Donald Trump from becoming president must be an overarching goal.
"I think the issue right here is I'm gonna do everything I can to defeat Donald Trump," he said.
But Sanders also dismissed the idea that he should withdraw from the Democratic race now that Clinton has secured the nomination.And while he said definitively that he'd vote for Clinton, that's not an endorsement:
"Why would I want to do that when I want to fight to make sure that we have the best platform that we possibly can, that we win the most delegates that we can?" he said.
And in a later interview on CBS, Sanders declined to formally endorse Clinton, although he indicated that he "hopes" to before the convention.And on CNN, he said he isn't sure about his November vote after all:
"I haven't heard her say the things that need to be said," he said.
Bernie Sanders said Friday he will likely vote for Hillary Clinton for president in November, the strongest expression of support yet from the Vermont senator, but he left the door open that he could change his mind.In the most definitive statement, on Morning Joe, what strikes me is the limited list of issues on which Sanders seems to think Clinton is a clear choice over Trump:
"In all likelihood, it will be Hillary Clinton," Sanders told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day."
We do not need a president whose cornerstone of his campaign is bigotry, is insulting Mexicans and Latinos and Muslims and women, who does not believe in the reality of climate change, when virtually every scientist who has studied this issue understands we have a global crisis. This is not somebody who should become president.That's it? Nothing else immediately comes to Sanders's mind that's objectionable about Trump? The ignorance? The recklessness? The flirtation with white nationalism? The support for torture and other war crimes? The very Republican budget with massive tax breaks for the rich? And Trump isn't just insulting various groups, he's actively planning draconian measures to repress them. Everything Sanders says is worth saying, but he could say a hell of a lot more.
Throughout the morning,
Pressed by [CBS] anchor Charlie Rose on what he needs to hear [from Clinton], Sanders said he wants Clinton to call for public universities and colleges to be tuition-free and to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. These are two areas where Sanders and Clinton disagree, but only by degree.I think Sanders really believes that Trump is not that far from Clinton on these issues, or at least where Clinton would be if Sanders hadn't run. But:
Clinton is advocating "debt-free" public college, and she says she thinks the federal minimum-wage should be raised to $12 an hour while states and cities could raise it to $15 on their own, as some are already doing.
Compare that to Trump, who believes the Department of Education, which gives federal aid, should be "largely eliminated"; privatizing student loans; incentivizing the kinds of college majors that are proven to make more money; and he has waffled on the minimum wage.Trust me: A President Trump would sign whatever bill the Ryan/McConnell Congress places on his desk with regard to the federal minimum wage, even one that eliminates it altogether. I wish Sanders understood that. And if he does understand it, I wish he'd talk about it.
He had said in a November debate of the current $7.25 federal wage, "I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is." Yet, last month, he said he was open to doing something about the wage because he's "very different from most Republicans." But it's unclear what Trump would do exactly. There is no policy position on his web site relating to education or the minimum wage in any way.