- The Washington Times - Monday, July 25, 2016

PHILADELPHIA — Sen. Bernard Sanders told his legions of supporters at the Democratic convention Monday they must work to elect Hillary Clinton to the White House, saying the choice between her and GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump is “not even close.”

Unlike Sen. Ted Cruz, who snubbed Mr. Trump in his speech at the Republican convention last week, Mr. Sanders gave full-throated backing to Mrs. Clinton, who he forced to go the distance in the primary.

From global warming to Supreme Court picks to immigration, Mr. Sanders said the areas he agrees with Mrs. Clinton swamp those where he disagrees, while Mr. Trump stands against him.

“By these measures, any objective observer will conclude that — based on her ideas and her leadership — Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States,” he said. “The choice is not even close.”

But Mr. Sanders did snub fellow Sen. Tim Kaine, not mentioning him in his remarks. Sanders backers view Mr. Kaine as not liberal enough on their issues, including Wall Street regulation and gay and abortion rights.

Those Sanders supporters packed the hall and cheered wildly for their hero Monday night, at times preventing him from being able to speak. His mention of Mrs. Clinton, though, still drew scattered boos from his delegates.

SEE ALSO: Michelle Obama praises Hillary Clinton’s ‘guts and grace’

Even as he concluded his speech, Mr. Sanders sent out a fundraising email that announced he would turn his operation from a political campaign into a new advocacy group dubbed “Our Revolution.” He said his goal is to see through the liberal planks he and his supporters managed to pack into the Democratic Party platform.

“When we started this campaign a little more than a year ago, the media and the political establishment considered us to be a ‘fringe’ campaign. Well, we’re not fringe anymore,” he said in the email.

Mr. Trump earlier in the day predicted many Sanders supporters will vote for him in November, saying he offers them both style and substance they’re looking for.

“Fifty percent of that party is Bernie Sanders, almost, and they’re very passionate. And that’s a much more passionate side. Her people, they fall asleep,” Mr. Trump said.

As Mr. Sanders spoke, Mr. Trump Tweeted: “Sad to watch Bernie Sanders abandon his revolution. We welcome all voters who want to fix our rigged system and bring back our jobs.”

But Mr. Sanders dismissed that possibility, ticking off the places where he agrees with Mrs. Clinton and differs with Mr. Trump.

“If you think you can sit it out, take a moment to think about the Supreme Court justices that Donald Trump would nominate,” he said.

The Vermont senator is registered as an independent but ran in the Democratic primary initially to give voice to liberal ideas. As Mrs. Clinton struggled to appeal to voters, however, Mr. Sanders drew support, and forced the race all the way through the final primary.

Mr. Sanders insisted his “political revolution,” as he came to call his campaign, will go on.

He energized the liberal wing of his adopted party, and repeatedly complained that Democratic National Committee leaders were working against him. Proof of that emerged in recent days, with Wikileaks posting emails showing DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her staffers plotting to derail his candidacy.

Those revelations left many of his supporters uncertain about whether they could follow their hero into Mrs. Clinton’s camp.

During the speech, party floor whips moved to quiet a member of the Michigan delegation shouting out: “We want Bernie.”

“I’m not going to heel. I’m going to make my voice heard,” Justin Snider, a Sander delegate, told The Washington Times after being warned by the floor whips.

He said he was angry with the party over officials undermining Mr. Sanders campaign and “rigging” the primary race in favor of Mrs. Clinton, and he said the email scandal proved it.

“It just shows that she didn’t win a fair election,” he said, adding that he still held out hope that a super-delegate miracle would hand the nomination to Mr. Sanders during the roll call vote Tuesday.

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