Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) faced a convention hall brimming with devotees — some of whom had spent the day booing the very mention of Hillary Clinton’s name — when he lent his support to the presumptive nominee in Philadelphia on Monday night.
It was a final chance for Sanders to give his classic stump speech on the one percent, free college and universal healthcare — with the confession that he was disappointed to have not clinched the nomination.
Some Sanders supporters protested outside of the Wells Fargo Center during the day, braving a fierce afternoon thunderstorm in hopes of persuading superdelegates to switch their allegiance to the Vermont socialist.
Inside, some Bernie delegates cried, put tape over their mouths in protest or altered unity signs to reflect allegiance to Sanders.
“I understand that many people here in this convention hall and around the country are disappointed about the final results of the nominating process. I think it’s fair to say that no one is more disappointed than I am,” Sanders said in the last speech of the evening.
“But to all of our supporters here and around the country, I hope you take enormous pride in the historical accomplishment we have achieved. Together, together, my friends, we have begun a political revolution to transform America, and that revolution, our revolution, continues.”
He added that “election days come and go, but the struggle of the people to create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1 percent, a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice, that struggle continues.”
“And I look forward to being part of that struggle with you,” Sanders said.
“Let me be as clear as I can be. This election is not about and has never been about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders or any of the other candidates who sought the presidency. This election is not about political gossip, it’s not about polls, it’s not about campaign strategy, it is not about all the things that the media spends so much time discussing.”
“…This election is about which candidate understands the real problems facing this country and has offered real solutions. Not just bombast, not just fear-mongering, not just name-calling and divisiveness… Not leadership which insults Latinos and Mexicans, insults Muslims and women, African Americans and veterans and seeks to divide us up.”
Sanders reasoned that “by these measures, any objective observer will conclude that based on her ideas and her leadership, Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States.”
The senator also tried to point out some policy common ground with his former foe, emphasizing he and Hillary “have come together on a proposal that will revolutionize higher education in America” despite differences on the campaign trail and that Clinton “wants to see that all Americans have the right to choose a public option in their healthcare exchange.”
“While Donald Trump is busy insulting one group after another, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Yes, we become stronger when black and whites, Latino, Asian American, Native American, when all of us stand together. Yes, we become stronger when men and women, young and old, gay and straight, native-born and immigrant fight together to create the kind of country we all know we can become.”
Still, Bernie acknowledged, “It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues. That is what this campaign has been about. That is what democracy is about.”
He hailed “by far the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party” to come out of negotiations between the Clinton and Sanders camps — an anti-TPP platform that calls for breaking up big banks.
“Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her tonight!” Bernie declared before thanking the crowd and leaving the stage.
In the audience watching the address was former President Clinton.
On Twitter, taunting Sanders and trying to lure his supporters during the day, was Donald Trump.
“While Bernie has totally given up on his fight for the people, we welcome all voters who want a better future for our workers,” Trump tweeted. “Hard to believe that Bernie Sanders has done such a complete fold. He got NOTHING for all of the time, energy and money. The V.P. a joke!”
“Sad to watch Bernie Sanders abandon his revolution. We welcome all voters who want to fix our rigged system and bring back our jobs,” he continued during the DNC primetime hour. “Bernie Sanders totally sold out to Crooked Hillary Clinton. All of that work, energy and money, and nothing to show for it! Waste of time.”
Bernie replied to Trump, citing one of the tweets, afterward: “Never tweet.”