Hillary Clinton Defeats Bernie Sanders in D.C. Primary; Opponents Meet
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders met privately at the Capital Hilton in Washington on Tuesday evening, just after Clinton won the final contest on the Democratic calendar in the District of Columbia.
Clinton won 77.8 percent of the vote to Sanders’ 20.8 percent, unofficial election results showed.
The meeting came as the Vermont senator has begun signaling that his campaign is soon to close, though Sanders’ aides say he is not expected to immediately endorse Clinton. Clinton became the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, but Sanders declined to drop out and pledged to give every voter a chance to decide between the two candidates.
“Sen. Sanders and Secretary Clinton met in Washington on Tuesday evening and had a positive discussion about how best to bring more people into the political process and about the dangerous threat that Donald Trump poses to our nation,” said Michael Briggs, Sanders’ spokesman, in a statement. “Sanders congratulated Secretary Clinton on the campaign she has run and said he appreciated her strong commitment to stopping Trump in the general election.”
Clinton and Sanders were joined by her campaign manager Robby Mook and campaign chairman John Podesta, along with Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver and his wife, Jane. It lasted about 90 minutes.
The two were never alone in the room. Other lower level aides were in a nearby room and came in and out occasionally.
Briggs said the two discussed “substantially raising the minimum wage; real campaign finance reform; making health care universal and accessible; making college affordable and reducing student debt.”
A Clinton adviser described the meeting to CNN as “very positive.” And a Clinton campaign official said the pair discussed both their shared liberal positions and agenda, while also expressing her appreciation for Sanders’ “commitment to stopping Trump in the general election.”
A Sanders aide called the meeting “constructive.”
Though Tuesday’s primary was essentially over, Sanders held a single campaign event in Washington last Thursday, and he reminded voters here about his support for statehood for the nation’s capital.
Twenty delegates were at stake in Tuesday’s primary, which was open only to registered Democrats. Delegates are awarded proportionally at the statewide and district-level, with a 15% threshold required. Polls were open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The few Republicans in the District of Columbia gave Marco Rubio one of his few wins when they voted in March.