Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders come together to woo Millennials
One-time rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders came together Wednesday to woo a group of voters that have been slow to flock to the former secretary of state: Millennials.
The duo that once fought bitterly in New Hampshire touted each other at the event focused on college affordability. Sanders, with a smiling Clinton sitting on stage, urged young supporters to back the Democratic presidential nominee over third party candidates who have tried to make inroads with them.
“I am asking you here not only to vote for Secretary Clinton, but to work hard, to get your uncles and your aunts, to get your friends, to vote,” Sanders said. “This election is enormously important for the future of our country. It is imperative that we elect Hillary Clinton as our next president.”
Drawn to his positions of college affordability, universal health care and climate change, Sanders motivated millions of millennial voters to back him during the Democratic primary. The group has been slow to gravitate towards Clinton, even though Sanders backed his rival at a New Hampshire event in July.
Younger voters overwhelmingly backed President Barack Obama in 2012 — giving him a 29-point lead over Republican nominee Mitt Romney, according to exit polls. In 2008, Obama easily outpolled Republican John McCain among — 66% to 32%. But the enthusiasm that young voters — including many first-time voters — showered on Obama, however, has not transferred over to Clinton.
On Wednesday, Clinton called Sanders a friend and heralded him as “one of the most passionate champions for equality and justice that I have ever seen.”
“Bernie’s campaign energized so many young people. And there is no group of Americans who have more at stake than young Americans,” Clinton said at the University of New Hampshire.
Clinton and Sanders didn’t dwell on their at-times contentious primary, but Clinton did say she was “proud” of her race against Clinton and even prouder of the fact that they “began to work together how we can take the issues we agreed on.”
During a brief panel portion after the speeches, Sanders said, “Make no mistake about it, that I will work with President Clinton.”
Before the Democratic National Convention in July, Clinton and Sanders’ came together to hammer out a plan on college affordability that bridged the gap between the plans they ran on during the primary.
The proposal includes tuition-free enrollment in public, in-state colleges and universities for families of four making up to $85,000. The income benchmark would increase over four years to $125,000 — covering about 80% of US families.
Clinton earned sustained applause when she touted her recent debate performance, an event that has clearly fired up her base of supporters.
“Isn’t this one of the strangest elections you have ever seen?” Clinton said. “I really sometimes don’t know what to make of it.”
Sanders has traveled for Clinton a handful of times since he endorsed her, but he has not been a staple on the campaign trail. Wednesday’s event was the first time the duo had been together since July.
They spent about 10 minutes before the event catching up behind closed doors, aides said.