WASHINGTON – The Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigns are discussing a potential event next week in New Hampshire, during which the Vermont senator would endorse Clinton’s White House bid.
A Democrat familiar with the plans said Wednesday if the two sides continue to make progress, Clinton and Sanders would appear at the joint event Tuesday in New Hampshire. The Democrat spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss the plans.
Clinton and Sanders officials declined comment on the possible rally, which was first reported by NBC News.
Sanders has withheld his endorsement of Clinton since the end of the Democratic primaries in mid-June, pressing for policy commitments from the campaign and party leaders developing the platform that will be considered at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. But he has shown signs of coming around.
The senator praised Clinton’s announcement of a proposal earlier Wednesday to tackle the rising cost of college tuition and the burden of student loan debt, calling it a “very bold initiative.” In a positive sign for Democratic unity, Sanders said he hoped to find more areas of agreement with Clinton “sooner rather than later.”
Sanders trounced Clinton in the New Hampshire primary, and holding the event in the Granite State would put the two rivals in a fall battleground state where Clinton will compete against Republican Donald Trump. It would also draw comparisons to 2008, when then-Sen. Barack Obama joined Clinton for an endorsement event in Unity, New Hampshire, a symbol-rich town where Obama and Clinton split the vote in the primary.
Sanders was wildly popular with young voters during the Democratic primaries, with many drawn to his calls for free tuition at all public colleges and universities. Clinton cast her opponent’s proposals as unrealistic, saying that while she shared his concerns about rising debt, she didn’t want wealthier families to be able to take advantage of opportunities aimed at the middle and lower classes.
The new policy proposal from Clinton would place a three-month moratorium on loan payments for all federal borrowers. It would also ensure that families with annual incomes up to $125,000 pay no tuition at in-state public colleges and universities.
Sanders said the plan combined “some of the strongest ideas which she fought for during the campaign with some of the principles I fought for. The final product is the result of the work of both campaigns.”
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