While many Democrats breathed an enormous sigh of relief when Bernie Sanders took the stage earlier today to finally endorse Hillary Clinton, his speech left many questioning the authenticity of his support. Was Sanders really finally backing the presumptive nominee? It often sounded like he was touting the success of his own campaign more than he was showing support for Clinton.
In an interview with Jorge Ramos, political activist and author Ralph Nader suggested there was, in fact, a strategy behind Sanders’ endorsement, and called the speech “brilliant.”
Nader said that listing off the many promises Clinton has made on issues like student aid, immigration reform, and minimum wage, Sanders was actually making a self-serving move.
“He set her up for political betrayal, which would allow him to enlarge his civic mobilization movement after the election and after she takes office,” Nader told Ramos. “So I think it’s a very astute endorsement.”
But don’t expect him to vote for Clinton come November 8. He called her a “deeply-rooted corporatist” and “militarist” in terms of her foreign policy.
“She’s never seen a weapons system or a war she didn’t like,” Nader told Ramos.
The five-time presidential candidate (he ran once as a write-in candidate, twice as the Green Party nominee, and twice as an independent) told Ramos there’s practically no chance for a third party run at this stage of the game, and said he will likely vote for the Libertarian or Green party nominee.
“I always believe, Jorge, in voting your conscious,” Nader said. “Not tactical votes, not least-worst votes. If you do tactical, least-worst votes, you lost your bargaining power over the candidates. They never look back when you basically say to them, ‘Well I don’t like either candidate but you’re not as bad as the other one.’”