By Arul Louis
New York, April 14 (IANS) Senator Bernie Sanders, the self-declared socialist, has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination putting on a united front against President Donald Trump.
Sanders announced his unequivocal support for his former rival in a split-screen joint online appearance on Monday they conducted from their home states anointing Biden as the party’s unopposed nominee.
Saying that they wanted to make Trump a one-term president, Sanders said from Vermont, “We need you in the White House and I will do all that I can to make that happen.”
Biden responded from Delaware, “It’s a big deal. Your endorsement means a great deal, a great deal to me.”
Although Sanders had ended his campaign last week, he had not endorsed Biden till Monday and had said that he would keep the delegates backing his candidature who had been elected in the party elections.
He had said that he was ending his campaign because “I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour.”
Monday’s announcement takes away all ambiguity and seeks to unite Sanders’s left and Biden’s centrist wings of the party.
Biden would need the complete support of the party’s left to take on Trump as Hillary Clinton’s defeat has been attributed in part to Biden supporters staying away from the elections.
Reacting to Sanders’s announcement last week, Trump said that many of the senator’s supporters agreed with him on bringing back industries to the US and on strengthening its industrial base.
Therefore, he claimed that he would draw their supporters again.
Biden told Sanders “I’m going to need you, not just to win the campaign, but to govern.”
Sanders asked him to adopt some policies that are popular with his young supporters like free community college, easing of education loans and a national minimum wage of $15.
They agreed that their staff would work on the agenda.
Both of them criticised Trump’s leadership in dealing with the coronavirus crisis.
Sanders called Trump a racist, a xenphobe, an anti-women person and a religious bigot who should not be allowed another term.
Biden set the stage for the surprise announcement tweeting that there would be a special guest at his livestream meeting.
Making Biden the unopposed candidate in April itself gives him an advantage that Hillary Clinton — and other first-time candidates, including those elected — did not have as he can concentrate on his rival in November, Trump, instead spending energy on fighting off rivals for nomination within the part.
There were 20 candidates when the campaign for the Democratic Party nomination began last year but all have dropped out. Sanders was the last holdout.
(Arul Louis can be contacted at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @arulouis)