Thursday June 09, 2016 – President Obama offered his formal endorsement of Hillary Clinton with a video released Thursday and plans to campaign with the former secretary of state in Wisconsin next week, according to two sources familiar with the plans.
The swift endorsement comes after the president met with Sen. Bernie Sanders at the White House earlier Thursday as the Vermont senator indicated he is preparing to exit the Democratic nominating battle.
Sanders is under pressure to stand down and help unify the party after a long and contentious battle with Clinton for the nomination. Obama’s endorsement will add to that pressure, although most party leaders, including the president, have urged that he be allowed to decide his future plans on his own timetable.
An afternoon meeting with Vice President Biden was also added to Sanders’s schedule for Thursday. The two are set to meet at the vice president’s residence at the Naval Observatory, said Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs.
“He is seeking out the counsel of people he admires and respects,” Briggs said of Sanders.
The president’s decision to move quickly to give his public support to Clinton indicates his desire to begin to play a more active role in making the case against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump as unqualified to be president and to try to rally those who have backed Sanders behind Clinton’s candidacy.
After meeting with Obama, Sanders said he looks forward to working with Clinton to defeat Trump in the fall.
“Needless to say, I’m going to do everything in my power, and I’m going to work as hard as I can, to make sure that Donald Trump does not become president of the United States,” the senator from Vermont told reporters, as his wife, Jane, stood behind him.