Bernie Sanders Fans May Be Slow to Come Around to Hillary Clinton

Sanders gave a hearty endorsement of Hillary Clinton Tuesday morning.

ByMARYALICE PARKS, ALANA ABRAMSON and BRAD MIELKE
July 12, 2016, 3:59 PM

— -- Bernie Sanders gave a hearty endorsement to Hillary Clinton Tuesday morning, saying plainly that she was best equipped to be president and that he would work to get her into the White House. Some of his fans, however, were not ready to come on board.

At the event, several of the senator’s backers left after he announced he was backing his rival, including Marianne Baldino and Marie LaFountain from Massachusetts. Before the event both women, who are retired, said they would rather vote for the Green Party candidate than Clinton.

“She’s a liar, she’s a crook,” LaFountain of Webster, Mass. said of the former Secretary of State while wearing a Sanders shirt. “She’s only about people with power and money.”

Plenty of people from both sides, though, did stay through the entire event. Kristi Zola of Wheelock, Vermont, listened to what both candidates had to say and in the end said she was still “brokenhearted.”

"I don't know what I'm going to do. The whole family is going to Philly to march with Bernie,” Zola added talking about her plans for the Democratic National Convention later this month. “We'll figure it out there."

Gabriel McArthur, a Sanders delegate from Colorado said he was still going to push for Sanders and his agenda at the convention. “While I have the utmost respect for Sen. Sanders decision and the integrity his endorsement displays, I reject his endorsement and will continue to support him as the stronger Democratic candidate,” he wrote in a statement to ABC News.

One Sanders’ staffer told ABC News plainly that today “sucked,” another said he was sad and that it felt like they got beat by a “corporate machine."

Progressives organizations around the country, though, have applauded Clinton’s responsiveness to Sanders’ platforms. In the last week, she has rolled out new plans that would make public colleges tuition free for many families and expand Medicare. At the event today, Clinton asked Sanders’ fans to get involved and said they would “always have a seat at the table” when she was in the White House.

Paula Iacella from Wilton, New Hampshire, stood with her back turned to Clinton during the event. “I think there’s millions of people who are very disappointed Sanders endorsed her so wholeheartedly. My way of protesting her was not to look at her. I believed her words were very hollow,” Iacella said.

Sanders’ wrote in an email to his fans today that he knew there would be a lot of disappointment, but added that in the coming weeks he will be launching “successor organizations to carry on the struggle.” The groups in part, the campaign says, will work on electing other progressives around the country.

“Today, I endorsed Hillary Clinton to be our next president. I know that some of you will be disappointed with that decision. But I believe that, at this moment, our country, our values, and our common vision for a transformed America, are best served by the defeat of Donald Trump and the election of Hillary Clinton,” he continued in his email to fans.

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