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James Sanders notes passion of Bernie Sanders supporters

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State Sen. James Sanders (D-Rochdale Village) said he was “astounded” when supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ bid for the Democratic nomination booed him when he expressed his support for Hillary Clinton during a meeting with his pledged delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Monday.

“As soon as he started saying he endorses and supports the Hillary ticket, the crowd showed its displeasure,” Sanders, who was in Philadelphia as a Bernie Sanders pledged delegate, said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon. “That did not go over well.”

The booing and negativity was heard Monday night during the convention’s televised coverage, when an undetermined number of attendees booed and jeered during several speeches, including one given by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass). Though James Sanders reiterated his support for Bernie Sanders’ message, he said he was now ready to support Clinton due to her opponent, GOP nominee Donald Trump.

“In comparison to Trump, she is a walk in the park,” Sander said. “Trump has opened the Pandora’s box in America that America really doesn’t want to go back to. His talk of building walls is truly horrifying.”

Despite the negative tenor of Monday’s delegate meeting, Sanders said he was hopeful that the coalitions at odds in the Democratic Party would unite to face the challenge Trump poses in the general election, and he said he would try to be at the forefront of making such unity a reality.

“The spirit is split. It’s going to take a while to work this one out. I’m going to try to be a voice that bridges it, but people are not anxious for it to be bridged,” he said. “There will be a battle to bring everyone together.”

Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdonachie@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

Updated 12:32 am, July 10, 2018
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