IT is believed that Barack Obama worked behind the scenes to convince Bernie Sanders to drop out of the presidential race and avoid a repeat of 2016.
The former president has spoken with Sanders several times over the last few weeks and reassured him that he had already done much of what he wanted to do, according to The New York Times.
Sanders started strong in the early Democratic primaries, but Joe Biden has dominated ever since and is will be the candidate to face off against President Trump in November.
The admitted Democratic socialist had battled Hillary Clinton hard during the 2016 race, and some believe that a lack of unity in the Dem party led to Donald Trump's victory nearly four years ago.
Obama ended his public silence on Tuesday by endorsing Biden, his former vice president. However, he apparently has been exerting his influence under the radar.
“Biden has obviously achieved something huge here on his own, but the president is a surrogate unlike anyone else anyone can bring to bear – I mean, who has Trump got?" longtime Obama pollsterJoel Benenson told The Times.
“Getting to the point where he can get Obama involved, you know, that’s a big deal.”
Obama initially reached out to Sanders in late March, according to the newspaper, and he apparently has gotten through.
Sanders dropped out of the race earlier this month.
He said Tuesday that it would be “irresponsible” for his supporters not to support Biden, warning that progressives who “sit on their hands” would simply enable Trump's reelection.
"Do we be as active as we can in electing Joe Biden and doing everything we can to move Joe and his campaign in a more progressive direction?" he said.
"Or do we choose to sit it out and allow the most dangerous president in modern American history to get reelected?”
He added that “I believe that it’s irresponsible for anybody to say, ‘Well, I disagree with Joe Biden – I disagree with Joe Biden! – and therefore I’m not going to be involved.’”
Sanders also distanced himself from his campaign's former press secretary Briahna Joy Gray, who refused to endorse Biden on social media.
“She is my former press secretary – not on the payroll,” Sanders said.
Sanders dismissed questions about why he was willing to support Biden sooner than he did Clinton, whom he waited until June to endorse.
He told The Associated Press that recent conversations with Obama did not influence his decision, and that it came down to simple math.
“I will do everything I can to help elect Joe," Sanders said.
"We had a contentious campaign. We disagree on issues.
"But my job now is to not only rally my supporters, but to do everything I can to bring the party together to see that (Trump) is not elected president.”
Sanders added that “it’s probably a very fair assumption” that he would not run for president again.
Source: Read Full Article