President Barack Obama has yet to endorse Hillary Clinton, but he’s already laying the groundwork for uniting the Democratic Party for her. Obama is also hoping to use his popularity and influence to draw in Bernie Sanders supporters who are still reluctant to give up the fight.
In an appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show,” Obama praised both candidates. Yet still, the president refrained from giving an official endorsement of Clinton or calling on Bernie Sanders to leave the race.
Obama said the contested primary was “healthy” for the Democratic Party. “I thought Bernie Sanders brought enormous energy and his new ideas and pushed the party and challenged them,” he said. “I thought it made Hillary Clinton a better candidate,” he added. The president said he hopes the party can “pull things together” over the next few weeks.
The White House has been quiet on the timing of Obama’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton, but Democratic leaders were hoping the announcement would come after the president’s meeting with Bernie Sanders in the Oval Office on Thursday.
At this time, it’s still unclear whether Sanders will follow the script. The Vermont senator emailed his supporters with the message: “The struggle continues” and reaffirmed his vow to compete until the final primary contest next week in Washington, D.C.