Bill Clinton: Democrats will "be together in the end."

AP News
Posted: May 20, 2016 2:53 PM
Bill Clinton: Democrats will "be together in the end."

SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota (AP) — Despite the drawn-out primary fight, Bill Clinton says he thinks Democrats will be able to "be together in the end."

The former president campaigned in South Dakota Friday on behalf of wife Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Asked about her increasingly combative rival Bernie Sanders, Bill Clinton said that the party will come together, recalling the 2008 primary.

Bill Clinton said that after losing to President Barack Obama, his wife "pulled the party together and we won an election. It made a big difference to America. And that's what we hope will happen again and we think it will."

The former Secretary of State is just 90 delegates shy of clinching the Democratic nomination. But the Vermont senator is pledging to take his insurgent campaign to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July. Still, on Thursday Clinton said in a CNN interview that she would be the nominee and stressed that she wanted Sanders to help unify the Democratic party.

Bill Clinton was set to spend Friday touring South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana. All three states hold Democratic primaries or caucuses on June 7, but Hillary Clinton has focused most of her attention on California and New Jersey, which offer far more delegates.

In Sioux Falls, about 350 people crowded into a concert venue draped in American flags to hear the former president, who stressed his wife's experience and ability to work across the aisle. He also referenced her comments about putting him to work on the economy, saying he was "thrilled" that she wanted him to take on those issues.

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"I would be happy to come back here and work on that," he said, amid cheers.

While he focused largely on his wife's achievements, Clinton took a shot at presumptive Republican front-runner Donald Trump, saying it was better to "build bridges not walls."

In recent interviews, Trump has been hitting Bill Clinton for past personal indiscretions. Asked about Trump's comments, Clinton said he wasn't concerned, adding: "I have nothing to say."

Tom Raap, a 73-year-old retired railroad worker from Sioux Falls who is supporting Hillary Clinton, said he wasn't worried about Trump's hits on Bill Clinton. "I think once it passes on by, it's going to fade in the wind," he said.