U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the runner-up in the Democratic presidential primary this year to Hillary Clinton, took to the stage of the Democratic National Convention on Monday and spent nearly a quarter hour saying thank you to his supporters.
He also expressed commitment to the continuation of the “revolution” his campaign began, and he pledged to be on hand to continue it.
“Let me thank the 13 million Americans who voted for the political revolution,” he said, “giving us the 1,846 pledged delegates here tonight. Delegates, thank you for being here, And thank you for all the work you have done.”
He continued, “I look forward to your votes during the roll call tomorrow night.”
He also thanked his own state support, his own family and more.
In fact, he expressed his thanks probably two dozen times at the beginning of his speech to thunderous applause. He started his speech, actually, several times before those applauding allowed him to continue.
He also expressed that “many people in this convention and around the country are disappointed about the final results of the nominating process. I think it’s fair to say no one is more disappointed than I am.”
He thanked the 2.5 million donors who gave eight million individual donations, averaging $27.
He continued, “But to all of our supporters, I hope you take enormous pride in the historical accomplishments we have achieved. Together my friends, we have begun a political revolution to transform America.
“Election days come and go but the struggle of the people to create a government which represents all of us and not just the one percent, a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice, that struggle continues.
“And I look forward to being part of that struggle with you.”
He eventually did note that the election is about the future of America, not “Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders or the other candidates.”
But it took him even several more minutes before he conceded that Clinton “must become the next president of the United States.”
Sanders then recited a litany of the party’s positions, launching alarms about global warming, the minimum wage, free college as well as universal health care. He blasted drug companies, he promoted “comprehensive immigration reform” and said the criminal justice system is broken.
He focused on the common elements on which Democrats could agree after a day of contention, division and reaction to the leaked DNC documents that revealed party officials had dissed his campaign in their promotion of Clinton’s during the primary, a revelation that prompted the removal of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Slogans and signs at the convention included a thumbs down image, “Killary is a war criminal,” “Never Hillary,” “election fraud,” “Hillary for prison” and more.
The convention earlier erupted in boos and jeers when Clinton’s name was mentioned, and even the open invocation was interrupted by chants of “Bernie.”
Cynthia Hayle, pastor of Ray of Hope Christian church, prayed, “There is tension and dissension in the land. This is not your will for us, and we know it.”
He talked for about 13 minutes before he actually got to the endorsement of Clinton, but he finished with a comment that he was proud to be standing with her.
Even as Sanders was speaking, Republican nominee Donald 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.”
He continued, “Bernie Sanders totally sold out to Crooked Hillary Clinton. All of that work, energy and money, and nothing to show for it! Waste of time.”