Bernie Sanders Expected To Endorse Hillary Clinton

Jul 7, 2016
Originally published on July 7, 2016 6:33 pm
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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Nearly a month after the end of the presidential primaries, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is expected to endorse his rival for the Democratic nomination Hillary Clinton. That endorsement is expected next week. A source familiar with discussions between the two campaigns confirmed this news today to NPR's Tamara Keith, and she's here in the studio now. Well, what do we know about this impending endorsement?

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: My source is telling me that it's expected to take place in New Hampshire next week. We know that Clinton is scheduled to be there in New Hampshire on Tuesday, though this does remain sensitive as talks are ongoing. This is a significant state because it's right next door to Sanders' home state of Vermont. It's also a state where he won in a big way in the primary. He really just blew her out of the water. And there's also a little symbolism. Unity, N.H., is where in 2008, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama held their big unity rally after the primary.

SIEGEL: This news comes a month after Hillary Clinton officially secured the delegates she needs to win the nomination. Sanders did not exactly rush into this endorsement. What do we know about how the campaigns came together?

KEITH: Well, Sanders had been looking to extract some policy concessions from Clinton. There have been ongoing discussions between senior officials on the campaign. We know that the campaign managers are friendly. They're both Vermonters. And this key concession that happened this week is Hillary Clinton announced an expansion of her college affordability plan. Sanders has campaigned all along on free public college. Hillary Clinton was campaigning on something slightly less than that.

SIEGEL: Right.

KEITH: This week, she announced that she's expanding it to be a free public college, eliminating college tuition in public college for families earning up to $125,000 a year. Sanders - that was key for Sanders in moving him towards this endorsement.

SIEGEL: Looking ahead to the Democratic convention, what signs of party unity should we expect to see in Philadelphia?

KEITH: Assuming this endorsement happens, we can expect to see Sanders there at the at the convention, along with Hillary Clinton. Those Sanders supporters have pulled out permits to protest outside. And I can say based on the tweets there are Sanders supporters who are not excited about this impending endorsement.

SIEGEL: NPR's Tamara Keith, thanks.

KEITH: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.