Speaking at almost the same time that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Tuesday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy called the Democratic National Convention platform released last week “an extremely progressive document.”
The document “reflects a very broad base in the United States and speaks to aspirations that Democrats have for their country. I think it’s a good document,” Malloy said. “That’s what a platform is, it’s supposed to express what the party believes should be accomplished in the next four years.”
The final document will still need to be adopted at the end of the month by the 4,765 delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Sanders used the platform process as a way to move the Democratic Party further to left as his presidential campaign fizzled.
In May, lawyers for the Sanders campaign sought to oust Malloy from his position as chair of the committee. In a letter to Democratic leadership, the Sanders campaign said Malloy harbored “professional, personal and political hostility” toward the Vermont senator.
Sanders begrudged Malloy’s outspoken support for Clinton and comments that Sanders should be “held accountable” for the “death and destruction” caused by his opposition to gun control measures.
While rejecting the request to oust Malloy, the DNC allowed Sanders to select five of the national committee members to help draft the platform document, while Clinton picked six and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz picked four. Ordinarily, the chair selects all the delegates.
The draft of the DNC’s platform includes calling for a federal $15 minimum wage and free community college, which were core Sanders talking points on the campaign.
Malloy described the platform’s education component as “a modification” of Sanders’ proposal. The current draft calls for free community college and tuition-free education at in-state public colleges for families earning less than $125,000 per year.
“It does put in an earnings cap that was not contained in the original,” Malloy explained. “It does acknowledge participation by states as part of that. Our state currently writes a very large amount of money, or sets aside a large amount of money for scholarships.”
Connecticut has not adopted a $15 minimum wage, though two years ago Malloy did push the state to become the first to mandate a $10.10 minimum wage by 2017.
Malloy told reporters Tuesday that he was certain that a majority of Sanders supporters would back Clinton in the General Election, and that having a unified party would help bring these voters into the fold.
“I think Hillary Clinton and Senator Sanders have done a lot to unify the party. I also think that Donald Trump has helped to unify the party as well,” Malloy said.
In his endorsement of Clinton on Tuesday, Sanders said that at the platform committee meeting this past weekend “there was a significant coming together between the two campaigns and we produced, by far, the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party. Our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House, and a Hillary Clinton presidency — and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said voters won’t forget Sanders’ criticism of Clinton and his endorsement Tuesday in New Hampshire was hollow.
“While Sanders may have pushed the Democrat Party even further to the extreme left, his supporters must rightly be wondering if their candidate has all of a sudden sold out to the same rigged system he so strongly campaigned against,” Priebus said in a statement.