Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) announced Monday that he is endorsing his former primary opponent Joe Biden to take on President Trump in the general election as the Democratic nominee, making a plea for the party “to come together.”
“We need you in the White House and I will do all that I can to see that that happens, Joe,” Sanders told Biden in an online event on Monday. “I’m asking every Democrat, I’m asking every independent, I’m asking a lot of Republicans, to come together in this campaign to support your candidacy, which I endorse.”
Biden responded by thanking Sanders for the endorsement, saying “your endorsement means a great deal.”
I think people are going to be surprised that we are apart on some issues, but we’re awfully close,” Biden said. “I’m going to need you — not just to win the campaign, but to govern.”
The two candidates also announced the creation of six joint task forces between their two campaign staffs to help “create new ideas and proposals” around issues like climate change, criminal justice, the economy, and education. Biden asked Sanders what the most important issue for his younger supporters is, to which the Vermont senator said student debt topped the list. Upon questioning from Sanders, Biden said he supported a $15 minimum wage.
Sanders’s endorsement comes after he announced last week that he would not seek the Democratic nomination, following crushing defeats in South Carolina and on Super Tuesday, despite early primary success in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. He has previously clashed with Biden, warning ahead of Super Tuesday that Trump would “decimate” the former vice president in the Rust Belt over Biden’s record on trade.
Biden has criticized Sanders as well, saying while campaigning in February that Democrats “can’t let” the president “pin the socialist label of socialist, socialist, socialist, on our party,” in an apparent nod to Sanders’s democratic socialism.