U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday endorsed likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in her 2016 run for the White House. The former rivals competed against each other for the Democratic nomination in 2008, and Clinton served in his cabinet as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.
“I don’t think there’s ever been someone so qualified to hold this office,” Obama said in a video posted to Clinton’s campaign website. “She’s got the courage, the compassion and the heart to get the job done.”
While Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has refused to drop out of the race for the Democratic nomination, Clinton claimed her victory in a speech Tuesday following resounding primary victories in New Mexico, New Jersey and California.
If officially selected at the Democratic National Convention in July, Clinton will become the first female nominee for a major political party in U.S. history.
“Tonight caps an amazing journey — a long, long journey,” she said at a rally in Brooklyn following Tuesday’s results. “We all owe so much to those who came before, and tonight belongs to all of you.”
Clinton tweeted her thanks to Obama for the enthusiastic endorsement. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, chimed in with his support on social media Thursday, thanking Obama for his endorsement in a post to Twitter shortly after the video was announced.
— Bill Clinton (@billclinton) June 9, 2016
The endorsement came just hours after Obama met with Sanders at the White House. The Vermont senator vowed to compete in next week’s primary in the District of Columbia while promising he would meet with Clinton to “work together to defeat Donald Trump.” Clinton has already begun to pivot to the general election in November, calling on Sanders supporters to rally to her side to defeat the likely Republican nominee, business mogul Donald Trump.
Trump quickly responded to the endorsement via his verified Twitter account, calling Clinton “crooked Hillary.”
Obama just endorsed Crooked Hillary. He wants four more years of Obama—but nobody else does!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2016