Obama endorses Biden for president
Former President Barack Obama endorsed Joe Biden for president on Tuesday, one day after Senator Bernie Sanders gave his support to Biden following his exit from the race.
Obama had remained neutral during the Democratic Primary race, refraining from throwing his support behind Biden despite expressing concerns about Sanders' views. Now that Biden has secured the Democratic Party nomination, Obama may be seeking to unify the party behind the Democratic candidate.
"I'm proud to endorse my friend Joe Biden for President of the United States. Let's go," Obama said. "Now's the time to fight what we believe in. So join us. Join Joe."
The New York Times has reported that Obama had been quietly working to unify the Democratic Party behind Biden. They reported that Obama is open to assisting the Biden campaign in whatever capacity they see fit, but cautioned that he wants to avoid the perception that he is rescuing Biden with his support.
In his endorsement on Monday, Sanders said of Biden that "we don’t have a choice. We have to come together."
"It’s no great secret out there, Joe, that you and I have our differences and we’re not going to paper them over. That’s real. But I hope these task forces will come together utilizing the best minds – people in your campaign and in my campaign – to work out real solutions to these very, very, important problems. I look forward to working with you and bringing some great people into those task forces," Sanders said.
Biden attempted to add Sanders' base to his by thanking the senator for his endorsement, saying, "Bernie, I want to thank you for that. It’s a big deal. Your endorsement means a great deal to me. I think people are surprised that we are apart on some issues but we’re awfully close on a bunch of others."