Barack Obama backs Hillary Clinton for White House

US president Barack Obama formally endorsed fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton for president yesterday, describing himself as eager to get out and campaign for her, days after she gained the delegates needed to secure the party’s White House nomination.

“I don’t think there has ever been someone so qualified to hold this office,” Mr Obama said in a video for the Clinton campaign.

“I’m with her, I’m fired up and I cannot wait to get out there and campaign with Hillary.”

Mr Obama and Ms Clinton were rivals during the 2008 Democratic primary that Obama won.

Ms Clinton went on to serve as Mr Obama’s secretary of state during his first term in office.

Shortly before news of the endorsement was released, Ms Clinton told NPR’s Tamara Keith: “I’m thrilled that the president has endorsed me. We started off as fierce competitors. We’ve ended up as true friends.”

The endorsement came the same day as Mr Obama met Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, Ms Clinton’s chief rival for the Democratic nomination. The two talked for about an hour in the Oval Office.

Afterward, Mr Sanders thanked Mr Obama and vice- president Joe Biden for their impartiality during the primary process, but he did not concede or endorse Ms Clinton.

Mr Sanders said Ms Clinton had run a “strong campaign” and that he looked forward to meeting her in the near future to see how they can “work together to defeat Donald Trump” and create a government that “doesn’t just fight for 1%”.

Next Wednesday, Mr Obama and Ms Clinton will make their first joint campaign stop appear together in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where she lost the Democratic primary to Mr Sanders.

“I want to be out there with him and have a chance to campaign with him,” she said. “It just means so much to have a strong, substantive endorsement from the president. Obviously I value his opinion a great deal personally.”

Meanwhile, US senator Elizabeth Warren has considered the idea of serving as Ms Clinton’s running mate but sees obstacles to that choice as she prepares to endorse the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, several people familiar with Ms Warren’s thinking told Reuters.

Ms Warren has concerns about joining a Clinton ticket, including whether running two women would give the Democrats the best shot at defeating Republican Donald Trump.

Advisers to Ms Warren, a fiery critic of Wall Street and a popular figure among progressive Democrats, have been in close contact with Ms Clinton’s campaign team and the conversations have increased in frequency in recent weeks, the sources said.

Ms Warren has signalled to people close to her that she is intrigued by the possibility of being Ms Clinton’s number two but has not discussed the role with Ms Clinton, 68, or anyone else from her campaign, said sources.

Ms Warren, 66, has been one of the Democrats’ most outspoken critics of Mr Trump, 69, and her priority is helping to defeat the presumptive Republican nominee in the November 8 presidential election, the sources said.

Ms Warren is also committed to advancing her own political agenda, which they described as “more progressive” than Ms Clinton’s more centrist positions.


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