Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) got his first congressional endorsement for president this week — from the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Hillary Clinton has gotten more than 100 endorsements from members of Congress, many who have served as campaign co-chairs for their home states in this or her last presidential campaign.
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) told CNN this morning that he “wanted to do for Bernie’s campaign what I can to reinforce his message.”
“I think the strongest thing that Bernie has, it’s a message, it’s an agenda. It is resonating well with the American people. And it’s resonating well because there’s a connection,” Grijalva said. “And the connection is, Americans’ frustration with where we are, where the economy is, where wages are, where inclusion and participation under democracy isn’t, Bernie’s talking about that.”
“And that consistency, I think, is something that not only will – has drawn me there, and he’s a friend, but I think as other members begin to also hear from their constituents, as other members begin to look at what the motivation that Bernie is creating across this country, I think more and more people will begin to give very, very serious consideration to his campaign.”
That wouldn’t sit well with Hillary, whose campaign has lobbied on the Hill for support.
“He’s been good to stick with the issues, hasn’t demonized, degraded any of our opponents, Hillary in particular. And I respect her. A formidable person, capable person. But when I mention consistency, the hardest thing in politics is to stay on course,” Grijalva explained further. “And Bernie has done that for decades. And so I want to reinforce that message because I think Bernie’s absolutely correct, we’re in a transformational period in the political life of this nation and I want to be part of doing what I can to bring that transformation about.”
The congressman noted that Sanders “didn’t put on these shoes yesterday morning.”
“This hasn’t been an epiphany. It’s just that this is who Bernie is and this is the time in the history of our nation where that message is not only being heard but being understood,” he said. “And I think that’s the big difference.”
Sanders and Grijalva will rally together Friday in Tucson at the Reid Park DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center.
“We have a messenger,” Grijalva declared. “It’s Bernie Sanders. And I’m comfortable with it. I choose to support him because I believe in him. I choose to support him because he’s a good, honest, decent human being. And I choose to support him because he is lending voice to issues that have been muted in American politics for so long.”