WASHINGTON (JTA) — Bernie Sanders said he would vote for Hillary Clinton in November, but was not ready to endorse her.
Sanders, the Independent Vermont senator, told CNN and MSNBC on Friday morning that his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination would get his vote. “In all likelihood, it will go to Hillary Clinton,” he said on CNN.
Sanders suggested on CNN that his decision on whether to endorse could come after the Democratic National Committee wraps up its platform in Orlando, Fla. on July 8-9.
“We are working right now as we speak with a), the Clinton campaign, trying to see what kind of agreements we can work out and b) as we speak, in St. Louis tonight, there is going to be a big debate about platform, and we’re going to try to make that platform a progressive as we can, then we’re going to Orlando where the whole committee meets, we’re going to offer a whole lot of amendments to make it progressive,” he said.
Sanders is the first Jewish candidate to win major party nomination contests.
He lost the bid for the democratic nomination to Clinton, the former secretary of state, in what was toward the end an increasingly bitter contest, but he appears to be pivoting to accommodation and to making sure he has longer-term influence on the party.
Sanders has in recent days said the priority now is making sure Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, does not get elected. In a speech to his followers Thursday night in Manhattan, entitled “Where Do We Go From Here,” focused on encouraging his followers to run for elected office.
And in the speech and an Op-Ed in the Washington Post on Thursday entitled “Here’s what we want,” he focused on areas where he and Clinton are in agreement like gun control, overturning a recent Supreme Court decision that expanded the means to influence elections through corporate spending, and addressing climate change.
“My job right now as a candidate is to fight to make sure that the Democratic Party has the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic party but that platform is actually implemented by elected officials,” Sanders told CNN.