North Carolina’s members of Congress backing Hillary Clinton want Sen. Bernie Sanders to rally behind the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee.
All three Democrats representing North Carolina in the U.S. House — G.K. Butterfield, David Price and Alma Adams — have endorsed Clinton.
Butterfield called on Sanders and his supporters to embrace Clinton now that it’s clear he can’t secure the party’s nomination.
“It’s necessary for Sen. Sanders to peel away from the process because the American voters have got to concentrate on Trump versus Clinton, and we’ve got to put those two candidates beside each other,” Butterfield, the six-term congressman from Wilson, said in an interview June 2.
“Her (Clinton’s) capacity to speak to diversity in our country without antagonizing the different groups that make up America will show America that she is far superior to Donald Trump. As long as Sen. Sanders is still in the equation, it complicates the message.”
Sanders has told supporters he would continue fighting for the nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.
“We are going to fight hard to win the primary in Washington, D.C.,” Sanders said following early results from Tuesday’s California primary. “And then we take our fight for social, economic, racial and environmental justice to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.”
Adams, of Mecklenburg County, wouldn’t comment on whether she thought Sanders should suspend his campaign, but she said it was time for Sanders to back Clinton and focus on bringing Democrats together.
Because of Sanders’ ability to attract young voters with a progressive message, Adams said she thinks Sanders could be a valuable asset in expanding the Democratic electorate going into the general election.
“I certainly hope that he will (support Clinton),” Adams said Thursday. “I think he brings a lot to the table for discussion that we’ve all been talking about and that we all want. I hope that’s what he’ll do.”
Price, of Chapel Hill, said Thursday he wants Sanders to “serve notice that he’s going to be supporting our candidate in the fall, and that it is absolutely unthinkable that Donald Trump should be President of the United States. (Sanders) needs to leave no doubt in anybody’s minds where his loyalties lie, and I expect him to do that.
“Nobody needs to save face here. It’s a matter of making the most positive possible team effort, and I hope that’s the way he’s going to look at it. I expect that he will.”