Rep. Cummings Endorses Clinton, Advises Her to 'Embrace' Sanders' Issues

PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, right, embraces Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., after being endorsed by him during a campaign event at City Garage in Baltimore, Sunday, April 10, 2016.PlayPatrick Semansky/AP Photo
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Rep. Elijah Cummings made it "abundantly clear" today that he is putting his full support behind Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, even if he thinks she ought to talk a bit more like Bernie Sanders.

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"I will be voting for Hillary Rodham Clinton as president of the United States of America," Cummings said. "I'm asking every one of you along with Lottie, Dottie and everybody to vote for Hillary Clinton, so it will be abundantly clear I am endorsing Hillary Clinton for president."

However, to a small group of reporters following the event, Cummings advised Clinton to embrace some of the issues that Sen. Bernie Sanders has been stumping about since his campaign began, especially income inequality and college tuition.

"My advice to her [Clinton] would be to try to first of all embrace the types of things that Bernie Sanders is talking about and speak to the needs of those folks who really want to be supportive of progressive policies, and to me that's most important," Cummings said.

The congressman argued that Sanders is speaking to an audience that feels forgotten, but acknowledged that Clinton is now addressing the very same issues.

"I think that we have to understand that Bernie Sanders is speaking to the concerns of a lot of people and we have to respect those concerns, and I think that if you listen to Hillary Clinton, it's clear that she's getting it," Cummings said.

At the same time, Cummings said he feels very comfortable with Clinton as president and trusts her judgment. He directly addressed her record on stage and reminded the audience of his daylong defense of her during the Benghazi hearings.

For her part, Clinton praised the congressman when she took the stage and thanked him for his support during the hearings and for his official endorsement today.

"Sitting in front of the Benghazi committee for 11 hours, I got to tell you, I was so proud to see him [Cummings] leading the Democrats," Clinton said. "And listening to him make the points that needed to be made. I wasn't surprised, because that's the kind of congressman he is."

Cummings also urged both Sanders and Clinton to come together on progressive issues and dial back their attacks on each other.

"They don't need to move to common ground. They need to move to higher ground," Cummings said. "And higher ground is you don't worry about who you're fighting, you worry about what you're fighting for. And they both have a lot in common about what they are fighting for."

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