The White House on Tuesday began its sales pitch for a unified Democratic Party, and signaled President Barack Obama might not endorse Hillary Clinton just yet. Less than 24 hours after Clinton secured enough superdelegates to become the party’s presumptive presidential nominee , White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest advised reporters against expecting Obama and Clinton will appear together Wednesday in New York for a formal endorsement.
[ Crunch Time for Obama's Wish List] “I can tell you that the president does not expect to see or meet or appear with Secretary Clinton when he's in New York tomorrow,” Earnest said. “He'll be focused on a schedule that involves two fundraisers and taping of the Tonight show.”
On Monday, Obama’s top spokesman had left the door wide open to an Obama endorsement of Clinton by Wednesday. Earlier Tuesday, when reporters were allowed into the Oval Office, where Obama was meeting with his Indian counterpart, he ignored questions about an endorsement after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., backed Clinton .
While creating distance between the president and pending endorsement of his former secretary of state, Earnest debuted the White House’s plea to supporters of Clinton’s primary challenger, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders “I think what's true is that you've got two Democratic candidates for president, who campaigned across the country on a platform that is quite similar,” Earnest said.
“You have candidates both out there aggressively talking about the need to expand access to quality health care to more Americans,” he said. “You've got Democratic candidates out there campaigning in favor of comprehensive, common sense immigration reform that would have a positive impact on national security and on our economy.”
Notably, Earnest went to some lengths to broadcast the unity sales pitch, repeating it multiple times during his daily briefing.
The White House also is making the case that Clinton and Sanders also are close on how to combat climate change , preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and “growing our economy from the middle out.”
“This has been a vigorous Democratic primary, but I think there's a strong case to be made that the Democratic Party is united around a core set of principles that,” Earnest said, “I think, will energize voters in the fall."