Bernie Sanders Explains The Difference Between "Endorsing" And "Voting For" Hillary Clinton


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) points to the Trans-Pacific Partnership as one reason why he refuses to "endorse" Hillary Clinton publicly. "I was really surprised that Sec. Clinton's delegates defeated our proposal to stop the TPP, even though she has indicated that she does not want to see it get on the floor, so those are the issues that have got to be worked on," he said.

Sanders said while he will vote for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee he differentiated voting for Hillary Clinton from supporting Hillary Clinton.

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: You've said you are going to vote for her, when asked on "MORNING JOE" on Friday. What about endorsing her? Do you see a distinction between voting for her and endorsing her, or are they one and the same?

SANDERS: No, they're not one and the same. What I am trying to do now, in a variety of ways, is to see that we have a Democratic platform that represents working families, that is prepared to take on the fossil fuel industry, and Wall Street. And by the way, in the Democratic platform passed in St. Louis, very strong language about breaking up the major banks on Wall Street, passing a Glass-Stiegel legislation, expanding social security -- these are ideas that I have fought for for years and in the campaign. So I think we're making some progress, but there is some language that is still lacking. For example, in the platform that came out of St. Louis, we did not make it clear that we are opposed to the TPP, getting onto the floor of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, getting onto the floor of Congress, and seeing it defeated. And I was really quite surprised to see that Secretary Clinton's delegates rejected our proposal to kill the TPP despite the fact that she has indicated she does not want to see it get onto the floor. So those are some of the issues that have got to be worked on.

"I don't understand, or a lot of people I should say, don't understand your reluctance [to endorse Hillary Clinton]," NBC's Andrea Mitchell said to Sanders.

"I would disagree and say that many people do understand," Sanders responded. Sanders explains what he means:

MITCHELL: That said, the platform is a huge issue, and I know you want your revolution to continue, and you're working very hard to elect like-minded Democrats and others who will carry on your policy. But I don't understand -- or a lot of people don't understand, I should say, your reluctance to endorse. If you want to defeat Donald Trump, what are your other choices?

SANDERS: I think many people -- I would respectfully disagree and suggest that many people do understand. Our job is to transform America, to end the 40-year decline of the American middle class. That is what I am fighting to do. And we are in that process right now. We did very well, I thought, in St. Louis, in terms of the first meeting of the platform committee. Now we go to Orlando, and then we go to the floor of the Democratic Convention. Politics is not a baseball game with winners or losers. What politics is about is whether we protect the needs of millions of people in this country who are hurting. That is my focus. And my job right now is to make the Democratic Party as open, as inclusive, as progressive as it possibly can be, and that's what we're working on as we speak.

Sanders would not confirm if or when he will suspend his presidential campaign, nor would he deny if there will be a contested convention in Philadelphia:

MITCHELL: When might you decide to suspend your campaign?

SANDERS: Well right now, again, we are doing everything we can -- that's -- what we are trying to do is to address the major crises facing working families in this country, and we're going to use all of the tools that we can to do that. We have some 1,900 delegates who are going to be coming to Philadelphia, and those delegates, without exception, are going to stand up and fight to make sure that the working class has a voice in this country, that government listens to them, that we end a corrupt campaign finance system -- that's what this campaign has been about and will continue to be about.

MITCHELL: So it will be a contested convention, as far as you're concerned?

SANDERS: Well, right now, we are doing everything that we can to make the Democratic Party platform as progressive as it can be, and we want to give faith back to the American people that their pain is being heard and they are going to have voices in Washington that are going to fight for them.

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