Obama endorses Clinton for president: 'I'm with her'

 
 
"I know how hard this job can be. That's why I know Hillary will be so good at it. In fact, I don't think there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office," he said in the video, which was posted on YouTube and the Clinton campaign website.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The video was recorded on Tuesday, a day after The Associated Press announced that Clinton had won the delegates necessary to clinch the nomination.
 
Clinton won primaries in California and three other states that day, securing a victory over Sanders in pledged delegates.
 
Sanders has yet to concede, however, and has continued to talk about taking his campaign to the Democratic National Convention in July.
 
That is looking less likely by the hour, and the release of Obama's video endorsement seemed designed to edge Sanders out the door.  
 
In the video, Obama congratulated Clinton "for making history" at the first woman to be the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party.
 
"She's got the courage, the compassion and the heart to get the job done. And I say that as somebody who had to debate her more than 20 times," said Obama, who defeated Clinton in the 2008 primary.
 
"I'm with her, I am fired up, and I cannot wait to get out there and campaign for Hillary."
 
He won't have to wait long. 
 
Clinton's campaign announced that the pair will campaign next Wednesday in Wisconsin. 

Clinton has talked about the tough primary with Obama in suggesting that Sanders and his supporters will eventually unify around her campaign. Sanders supporters have expressed bitterness at times over the nature of the campaign, and Democrats have openly worried about the difficulties they could face in unifying the party. 

Sanders struck a relatively positive note after meeting with Obama. He pledged to work to defeat presumptive Republican nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Trump Jr. declines further Secret Service protection: report Report: Mueller warned Manafort to expect an indictment MORE in November, though he did not offer an endorsement of Clinton. 
 
The final Democratic primary is Tuesday, in the District of Columbia, and Sanders has spoken repeatedly about how all voters should have a say in the nomination.
 
In the video, Obama lauded Sanders. He said he thanked Sanders at their meeting for "shining a spotlight on issues like income inequality, and the outsize influence of money in our politics, and bringing young people into the process," and then launched into a pitch for party unity. 
 
"Embracing that message is going to help us win in November, but more importantly, it will make the Democratic Party stronger and it will America stronger," he said. 
 
"Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders may have been rivals during this primary, but they're both patriots who love this country, and they share a vision for the America that we all believe in."
 
White House press secretary Josh Earnest later Thursday said Obama gave Sanders a heads-up about his endorsement of Clinton, saying the two men spoke three times in the past week. 
 
"As a result of those conversations, I think it’s fair to say that Sen. Sanders was not at all surprised by today’s announcement," Earnest told reporters. 

The video represents a “joint endorsement” from both Obamas, Earnest said, adding that first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaObama to host global summit in Chicago Kelly Clarkson says new song 'Go High' inspired by Michelle Obama Michelle Obama outshines all Democratic prospects for 2020 MORE will campaign for Clinton as well. 

The president landed a dig at Trump after ticking off a handful of Democratic values. 

"Those are the values that unite us as Democrats. Those are the values that make America great. Those are the values that are going to be tested in this election," he said. 
 
"And if we all come together in common effort, I'm convinced we won't just win in November, we'll build on the progress that we've made, and we will win a brighter future for this country that we love." 

Clinton reacted to the endorsement on Twitter moments after the video was posted.

“Honored to have you with me, @POTUS. I'm fired up and ready to go!” she wrote.
 
 
 
The president reportedly spoke by phone to Sanders over the weekend, a conversation seen as the beginning of the reconciliation effort.
 
Renowned for his political skills, Obama is expected to play a significant role on the campaign trail for Clinton, who has admitted she is not a “natural politician.”
 
Obama’s approval ratings are above 50 percent, rare for a two-term president in his final year in office. That makes him more popular than both Clinton and Trump. 
 
The president has already previewed his role as a top surrogate for Clinton, delivering a blistering critique of Trump during a recent speech in Elkhart, Ind. 
 
“If what you care about in this election is your pocketbook, if what you’re concerned about is who will look out for the interests of working people and grow the middle class, if that’s what you’re concerned about, then the debate — then if that’s that you’re concerned about, the economy — the debate is not even close,” he said. 
 
 
Amie Parnes and Ben Kamisar contributed.
 
Updated at 2:47 p.m.