Sen. Bernie Sanders ended his presidential campaign on Tuesday and promised to throw his energy into getting Hillary Clinton elected.
“She will be the Democratic nominee for president and I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States,” he said.
Campaigning with Clinton in New Hampshire, Sanders admitted that the former secretary of state had beaten him in both pledged delegates and in superdelegates. He also praised his campaign’s efforts to win the New Hampshire Democratic primary, a victory which helped keep his nomination hopes alive.
Sanders also used the occasion to praise Clinton’s recent endorsement of a public insurance option for President Barack Obama’s health care law.
“This campaign is about moving the United States toward universal health care and reducing the number of people who are uninsured or underinsured,” he said.
Along with making his usual case about income inequality, he also criticized Clinton’s presumptive Republican opponent, Donald Trump.
“His reckless economic policies will not only exacerbate income and wealth inequality, they would increase our national debt by trillions of dollars,” he said.
Clinton thanked Sanders, mentioning their work together in recent weeks on health care and education, and using his campaign slogan, “A future to believe in.”
“Sen. Sanders has brought people off the sidelines and into the political process,” she said. “Thank you, thank you, Bernie, for your endorsement, but more than that, thank you for your lifetime of fighting injustice.”
While Clinton was the heavy favorite from the beginning of the race, Sanders mentioned the fact he won 22 states and gave the Clinton campaign a scare in the Iowa caucuses. His campaign also pulled off upsets in Midwestern states like Michigan and Indiana.
But Sanders’ campaign never truly gained traction with traditional blocs of Democratic voters like African Americans, and he consistently lost in Southern states where Clinton had reliable support.
Clinton largely clinched the nomination after the California primary in June, and soon received the official support of Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. In the lead-up to Tuesday’s endorsement, Democracy for America and the Communications Workers of America, which had both endorsed Sanders during the primary, announced their support for Clinton.