Sanders rejects Clinton claim that his delayed endorsement hurt her in 2016

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) dismissed former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE’s recent suggestion that his decision to not endorse her sooner after the two battled for the Democratic nomination in 2016 ended up hurting her in the general election against Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE.

Trump ended up defeating Clinton in a huge political surprise.

“I’m sorry that Hillary Clinton is rerunning 2016,” Sanders, who is running for president again, said in a recent wide-ranging interview with Iowa Press.

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“I could take out a letter from Hillary Clinton saying, ‘Thank you Bernie for working so hard to try and make me the president of the United States,’” Sanders added. 

Clinton said last week in an interview with Howard Stern that Sanders could have endorsed her sooner in the 2016 race, adding that “there’s no doubt about it, he hurt me.” 

She said she was “disappointed” with Sanders and she hopes “he doesn’t do it again to whoever gets the nomination.” 

Sanders, however, rejected Clinton’s claims. 

“What I tried to do after the primary was to sit down with her staff, and we did, to create a Democratic platform that was as progressive as it could be. And that ended up happening,” Sanders said. 

“So I don’t want to rerun 2016,” Sanders continued. “Right now our goal is to defeat Donald Trump. I think I am the strongest candidate to do that. If it turns out I am not the Democratic nominee, I will strongly support anybody else.”

Sanders endorsed Clinton in July 2016 after the party’s primary and caucus contests were over. It was apparent before then that Clinton would be the party’s nominee, as she had clinched the nomination more than a month before the endorsement.

Sanders is one of 15 Democrats seeking the nomination in 2020. 

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