PHILADELPHIA — Bernie Sanders got wild cheers when he spoke to thousands of his supporters at a rally here this afternoon — but boos from many of the faithful when he urged them to vote for Hillary Clinton.
“We have made history,” the Vermont socialist told his supporters at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Sanders, scheduled to speak tonight on the first day of the Democratic National Convention, reminded the crowd that his candidacy was written off by many political experts a year ago.
“We’re not fringe players anymore,” Sanders said.
“We have set the agenda for the future of America,” Sanders said, crediting his supporters with pushing Democrats to draft “the most progressive platform ever written.”
The crowd cheered loudly when Sanders mentioned the resignation of Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who Sanders has long accused of unfairly supporting Clinton in the primary season.
But many Sanders supporters booed and shouted angrily when he called for Clinton’s election. One person near the front held up a sign with Clinton’s picture and the word “ENEMY” on it.
“We have got to defeat Donald Trump and we have got to elect Hillary Clinton in 2016,” Sanders said.
Seeing the negative reaction of much of the crowd, Sanders added: “This is the real world.”
He called Trump a bully and demagogue, accused him of bigotry and hatred and of insulting Latinos, Muslims, women and African-Americans.
“Trump is a danger to the future of our country and must be defeated. And I will pledge to do everything I can to see that he is defeated,” Sanders said.
“This campaign has been a fantastic beginning — a beginning,” Sanders said. “And from today onward, we continue the fight.”