Tuesday 23 January 2018

Sanders calls for unity as he finally backs rival Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Photo: PA
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Photo: PA

Rachael Alexander

Bernie Sanders, the outsider who outran all the insiders in US politics, finally took his place alongside Hillary Clinton yesterday to consolidate her bid to beat Donald Trump.

Mr Sanders, whose appeals for a "political revolution" captured the imagination of millions of voters across the US, finally gave his much-anticipated endorsement of his Democratic rival Mrs Clinton, calling for unity two weeks shy of the Democratic National Convention.

Standing alongside one another at an event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, congratulated Clinton for winning the nomination and vowed to do everything he can to help her beat presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

"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 1pc," he said, listing his reasons for endorsing her.

"Hillary Clinton understands that if someone in America works 40 hours a week, that person should not be living in poverty."

Democrats have coalesced around Mrs Clinton's candidacy since she defeated Sanders in primaries last month in California and five other states, led by endorsements from President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden.

Mrs Clinton will need all the help she can muster, as Mr Trump continues to chip away at her lead in a national poll, a survey released yesterday shows. The presumptive Democratic nominee now has just a three percentage point edge over the likely GOP nominee, 47pc to 44pc, according to the NBC News/Survey Monkey poll. The same poll last week showed Mrs Clinton at 48pc and Mr Trump at 43pc. And two weeks ago, she held an eight percentage point advantage over the mogul, 49pc to 41pc - Mrs Clinton's peak in this poll.

The latest survey comes after the Department of Justice decided not to pursue charges against Mrs Clinton for mishandling classified information. In a public address last week, FBI Director James Comey outlined Clinton's wrongdoings, but also said he wouldn't recommend a prosecutor bring charges.

Some 93pc of Trump supporters disagree with the FBI director's decision not to recommend an indictment of Mrs Clinton. Even 20pc of Clinton supporters think Mr Comey got it wrong. Overall, only 41pc of registered voters agree with the FBI director's decision, while 56pc said they disagree with that move. Both candidates remain widely unpopular. Mrs Clinton is disapproved of by 60pc of registered voters, while Trump's number is even worse - 62pc.

Irish Independent

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