Former Vice President Joe Biden, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, was formally endorsed on Monday by longtime rival Bernie Sanders, a move that may help unify the Democratic Party ahead of a general-election matchup against Republican President Donald Trump.
Bernie Sanders, who last week suspended his presidential campaign, joined Joe Biden in an online campaign event, citing the coronavirus outbreak as a reason for the party to come together.
That made for a stark contrast to 2016, when Sanders waited until the eve of the Democratic National Convention in the summer to support the then-nominee, Hillary Clinton.
In the online event, Sanders called on Democrats, independents and Republicans “to come together in the campaign to support Biden’s candidacy.
Biden responded by terming Sanders “the most powerful voice for a fair and more just America.”
With social distancing in widespread effect, Biden has been forced to move the bulk of his campaign to online events and has watched as the global pandemic had relegated the 2020 presidential race to the back burner.
The Sanders endorsement gives him a jolt of energy and attention at a time when his campaign could use it.
Biden said he and Sanders would develop six policy working groups on issues including the economy, education, criminal justice, immigration and climate change to develop solutions to problems in the United States.
Beyond courting Sanders, Biden’s campaign had begun to reach out to progressive advocacy groups centered around issues such as climate change and racial justice in a bid to heal the longtime tension between the moderate and progressive camps within the party.
Trump has tried to take advantage of those figures, working on social media to try to keep Sanders’ supporters away from Biden, suggesting that Sanders had been forced out of the race by the Democratic establishment.