In 2016, Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton after she won the nomination, but there were hard feelings between supporters for both camps. Former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe talks to PBS’s Judy Woodruff about how to prevent that in 2020.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, what about the hard feelings between the two sides? I mean, look at what happened in 2016. Yes, Bernie Sanders did endorse Hillary Clinton, but there wasn’t a lot of love between the – his voters for hers. What’s stop that from happening all over again in 2020? DAVID PLOUFFE: It’s a critical question. I actually wrote about this in my book, which I had to work on last summer and fall. So I’m glad I spent some time on this, because… JUDY WOODRUFF: You anticipated this was going to come? DAVID PLOUFFE: Well, I didn’t know it would be down to these two. But I went through this in ’08. By the way, the Obama-Clinton primary was harsher than this primary. It took us some time to put that together. So here’s what has to happen. The principals in the play – so, in this case, Biden, Sanders, people like Obama, both Obamas, Hillary Clinton, everybody needs to do the right thing and mean it. And because Trump is looming, and he’s an existential threat, I think Bernie Sanders will do everything he can, as Joe Biden would do. But the people who support the candidates on the ground, the staff, you have got to work at this. Like, you just can’t assume, we won, now it’s time to get on board. You got to host house parties. You got to invite people… JUDY WOODRUFF: Whichever side it is, you’re saying. DAVID PLOUFFE: Yes. And invite the people. So we have – if Biden is the nominee, invite the people who organized for Bernie and listen to them complain, say, you know what? You guys clearly know how to organize young people. We don’t have to do that so well. We need your help. So I would – here’s what I would say. I don’t think it’s the top reason we will lose to Trump, but if you don’t get this right, your foundation is weak, and if – whoever our nominee is, Biden or Sanders, needs to treat this as intensively as they do winning Wisconsin for the next couple of months.