Bernie Sanders threw his support behind Joe Biden in a livestream video Monday afternoon, a move to unite the Democratic Party ahead of the presidential nomination. As the two men spoke over Periscope, viewers reacted by floating small hearts onto the screen and commenting in real time, a strange new reality of campaigning in the age of a pandemic.
"We need you in the White House," Sanders said.
Biden said Sanders' endorsement meant a "great deal" to him personally and said, "I'm going to need you" to help defeat President Trump. Biden complimented Sanders, calling him the "most powerful voice" for a "fair and just America."
The two men have sparred during the 2020 primary campaign, although the two have long been collegial in the Senate. "It's no secret, Joe, that you and I have your differences — but I hope that there's past forces will come together utilizing the best minds and people in your campaign and in my campaign," Sanders said.
The men had a friendly conversation about issues they agree on, including raising the minimum wage and how the coronavirus crisis will make inequality worse in America. Biden and Sanders plan to create multiple policy task forces related to coronavirus and the economy.
At one point when discussing the need for transparency in how businesses will receive money in the coronavirus stimulus package, Sanders exclaimed, "Can you believe that?" and Biden nodded along, saying, "Exactly."
last week. He said at that time he would remain on the ballot and look to accrue delegates for the duration of the primary season, to help ensure his movement has influence over the party's platform.
Monday's livestream, however, is a sign for any skeptics — including President Trump and some die-hard Sanders supporters — that Sanders and Biden are united in the fight against Mr. Trump, CBS News political correspondent Ed O'Keefe said. O'Keefe noted the two men discussed a "happy medium" between their policies, and the conversation also showed "that they maintained and will maintain a professional and personal relationship — one of mutual respect that never got nasty during the campaign."