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DNC: Sanders 'proud to stand' with Clinton

Ken Thomas and Kathleen Hennessey
Associated Press

Philadelphia  — Bernie Sanders says Hillary Clinton will make — in his words — “an outstanding president.”

Sanders, who battled Clinton in the Democratic primaries, says he’s known Clinton since she was first lady almost a quarter-century ago.

He credits Clinton with leading the fight for universal health care. He says Clinton, as a senator, was a “fierce advocate” for children’s rights.

Sanders ended his speech at the Democratic National Convention by saying: “I am proud to stand with her tonight.”

Sanders says the country has made much progress under President Barack Obama but there’s more work to be done.

He says the 2016 presidential election is about the candidate who understands the “real problems” the country is facing and can offer solutions.

Vermont Senator and former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks on Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on July 25, 2016.

Sanders told delegates that “by these measures, any objective observer will conclude that — based on her ideas and her leadership — Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States. The choice is not even close.”

Sanders said no one is more disappointed than he is over not being the Democratic presidential nominee. But the Vermont senator is urging his supporters to take “enormous pride” in the political revolution to transform America that they’ve started.

He said that election days come and go. But, “the struggle of the people to create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1 percent - a government based on the principles economic, social, racial and environmental justice - that struggle continues.”

He began by thanking his supporters and political donors whose contributions averaged what he says were $27 apiece.

Sanders said that he’s looking forward to receiving his 1,900 delegates’ votes during Tuesday night’s roll call.

The Vermont senator underscored his tough campaign against Clinton by recounting that he received 13 million votes, 46 percent of the total cast in Democratic primaries and caucuses.

Michigan delegates remain on the fence

Al Benchich of Ferndale, a Sanders supporter who wore tape over his mouth earlier in the convention to protest the Democratic National Committee, said he was not swayed by the call for unity and said it is Clinton who must convince him to vote for her this fall.

“He’s a man of his word,” said Benchich. “He did what he said he was going to do, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything he says. I love Bernie, but I don’t agree with him.”

The DNC on Monday offered a “deep and sincere apology” to Sanders, whose most loyal supporters booed when he again asked them to back Hillary Clinton for president on a tumultuous opening day of the party’s nominating convention.

Internal emails leaked Friday included “inexcusable remarks” and “disrespectful language” directed toward Sanders and do not reflect the party’s commitment to neutrality in primary elections, the DNC said in a letter signed by incoming interim Chairwoman Donna Brazile and other officials.

The DNC apology letter was released just before the official start of the national convention, where early calls to unite behind Clinton prompted competing chants of “Bernie” and “Hillary” on the floor. Sanders supporters interrupted several speakers with similar chants.

It also came hours after Sanders loyalists heckled DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz at a Florida delegation breakfast, her first appearance since her decision to step down following the release of hacked Democratic Party emails.

Chaos came on a day when the theme was supposed to be “united together.” During Monday’s opening session, Sander’s supporters often interrupted speakers to shout “Bernie!” At one point, delegates of the floor of Wells Fargo Centers were alternating chants of “Bernie!” and “Hillary!”

Three of Sanders’ Michigan delegates wore green felt “Robin Hood” hats.

Charles Niswander, a Sanders delegate from Allegan, said he thinks Sanders was “beholden” to back Clinton, noting that he only mentioned her name once in his afternoon speech to delegates.

“I’ll be devoted to Bernie regardless,” said Niswander, 28, a full-time dad. “I’ll write him in. Bernie is the only one that can beat Trump. And the polls agree with me.”

Wayne County commissioner Martha Scott, a Sanders delegate, said she was ready to get behind Clinton on Monday, despite others' reluctance. She thought the chants of "Bernie!" during the opening prayer Monday were rude.

“We can't solve things that way,” said Scott of Highland Park.

Scott said Sanders will continue the political revolution he started, but the two sides must work together.

“We don't give up,” she said. “What we do now is work with Mrs. Clinton. In order to make change, you have to have a revolution.”

Sanders, in an earlier Monday meeting with delegates, applauded the announcement that Wasserman Schultz will step down at the end of the convention. She was expected to bang the opening gavel but reversed course Monday amid ongoing controversy over leaked emails that appeared to show party officials working to undermine the Sanders campaign.

“Brothers and sisters, this is the real world that we live in,” Sanders told delegates, urging them to rally behind Clinton to ensure Republican businessman Donald Trump does not win the presidency. “Trump is a bully and a demagogue. Trump has made bigotry and hatred the cornerstone of his campaign.”

Sanders stressed that the campaign’s accomplishments and progress would be lost if Clinton doesn’t win.

The appeal elicited boos and some cheers, as delegates shouted, “We want Bernie!”

Clinton delegate Suzanne Perkins of Ann Arbor said she likes Sanders but Clinton is the better candidate.

“I’m close to 50 and she’s the most qualified candidate in my entire lifetime,” said Perkins, who writes grant proposals.

And Perkins argues Sanders’ supporters eventually will be brought into the fold, just as it took time for Clinton’s supporters to get then-Illinois U.S. Sen. Barack Obama in 2008.

“He (Sanders) wants everybody to get behind her,” she said.

Russian envoy scoffs at allegations

Russia’s top diplomat is declining to fully comment on allegations that Russia was behind the hack of Democratic National Committee emails.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is suggesting a proper response would involve vulgar language.

Lavrov was asked about the allegations as he began a meeting on Tuesday in Laos with Secretary of State John Kerry.

Lavrov answered in English: “Well, I don’t want to use four-letter words.”

Trump offers no solutions, she says

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren says Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has excited Americans who are rightfully angry. But she says he’s offering no solutions for their problems.

She told the Democratic National Convention that Trump can see voter anger “from the top of Trump Tower,” and that “he and he alone can fixed the rigged system.”

Warren said the only actual clear policy proposal Trump offered in his own nomination acceptance last week was “a stupid wall” that “will never get built.” Trump wants to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

But she says there was nothing in his speech about improving children’s education, increasing incomes or creating

Elizabeth Warren says, 'I'm with Hillary'

Warren says the choice in the presidential election is clear, and she says Trump “cares about himself every minute of every day.”

The Massachusetts senator, a favorite among liberals spoke Monday night as the party tries to unite around Clinton after a divisive primary.

Warren tells the crowd: “I’m with Hillary. This choice is personal. It’s about who we are as a people.”

First lady gives Clinton strong endorsement

Michelle Obama offered an unequivocal endorsement for Clinton.

The first lady says Clinton — a former secretary of state, senator and first lady herself — is the “one person who I truly believe is qualified to be president of the United States.”

Michelle Obama said in her speech  that Clinton “never buckles under pressure,” and would be the kind of president that she wants for her own daughters.

Michelle Obama notes Clinton’s reaction to her 2008 Democratic primary loss to Barack Obama. Michelle Obama says Clinton “didn’t get angry or disillusioned” and “did not pack up and go home.”

She says Clinton has “never quit on anything in her life.”

US First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 25, 2016.

First lady calls out 'bully' Trump

Obama called out Trump in her remarks at the Democratic National Convention.

The first lady says that “when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, we don’t stoop to their level.”

She’s didn't mention the Republican presidential nominee by name, but she decried what she calls “hateful language.” She says that goes against what she tries to teach her children.

Her message? She says, “When they go low, we go high.”

Actress Sarah Silverman speaks during the first day of the Democratic National Convention on July 25, 2016 at the Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

Silverman: Bernie or bust 'ridiculous'

Comedian Sarah Silverman gave it straight to die-hard Sanders supporters.

Her message Monday night at the Democratic convention: “Can I just say to the Bernie or bust people, you’re being ridiculous.”

Silverman was one of a number of prominent entertainers who backed Sanders in the Democratic primary against Hillary Clinton. But she told the crowd — and a national television audience — that she plans to vote for Clinton.

The crowd broke into chants of “Bernie, Bernie,” but Silverman quickly shot back with her quip.

As the crowd roared in applause, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken — standing next to Silverman — joked, “Listen to what you did.”

Franken noted that because he was a Clinton backer and Silverman was with Sanders, they were forming a bridge.

“We’re like a bridge over troubled water,” he said, and they went on to introduce singer Paul Simon.

Democrats go after Trump’s business record

Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania questioned where the Republican presidential nominee’s products were made.

Here’s what Casey said: “Dress shirts - Bangladesh. Furniture - Turkey. Picture frames - India. Wine glasses - Slovenia. Neck ties - China.”

He adds, “Why would Donald Trump make his products in every corner of the globe but not in Altoona, Erie or here in Philadelphia?”

And Sen. Kristen Gillibrand of New York recalls Trump’s comments about U.S. wages being too high.

She says Clinton “knows that in the richest country in the world, it’s unacceptable that a mom with two kids working full time still lives in poverty.”

Detroit News Staff Writers Maureen Feighan and Jonathan Oosting contributed.