Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders met privately at a hotel in Washington D.C. Tuesday night to hash out some of the enduring differences from a long contentious year, capping off the night of the final contest in the Democratic primary.
The meeting at Washington’s Capitol Hilton, just blocks from the White House, comes hours after Clinton defeated Sanders in the Washington D.C. primary, the last matchup between the two candidates.
Sanders congratulated Clinton on her primary victory and Clinton congratulated Sanders on his campaign, according to statements from both camps prepared by aides. They discussed issues on the Democratic Party platform ranging from raising the minimum wage, campaign finance reform, universal healthcare and college affordability.
“Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders met at the Capital Hilton in Washington this evening and had a positive discussion about their primary campaign, about unifying the party and about the dangerous threat that Donald Trump poses to our nation,” said a Clinton campaign official.
Clinton has now won nearly 400 more pledged delegates than Sanders and some 15 million votes, about 3.5 million more than her opponent. Sanders has said he will continue to campaign in the convention, but there is a widespread acceptance among his aides and allies that he has clearly lost the primary.
The meeting was a key test for the two candidates, each with a different set of interests. Clinton wants to quickly unify the Democratic Party to prepare for a general election campaign against Donald Trump. Sanders, meanwhile, wants to realign the Democratic Party and have it commit to a raft of liberal policy proscriptions.
With a crowd of tourists awaiting the candidates near the bar in the Hilton’s lobby, Clinton entered and exited through a back door while Sanders marched out the front of the hotel.
Also attending the meeting were Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, Clinton campaign manger Robby Mook, Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver and Bernie’s wife, Jane Sanders. Mook and Weaver have been the most frequent points of contact between the two campaigns. Sanders and Clinton met for around an hour-and-a-half.
“Sanders and Clinton agreed to continue working to develop a progressive agenda that addresses the needs of working families and the middle class and adopting a progressive platform for the Democratic National Convention,” said Sanders’ campaign spokesman, Michael Briggs.
In a defiant statement Tuesday afternoon, Sanders vowed to fight for a “fundamental transformation” of the Democratic Party, calling for an end to superdelegates, open primaries, a series of platform concessions, and the ouster of the DNC’s chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. He said his campaign would have “1,900, 2,000 people” as delegates at the convention and he promised to fight on.
Clinton, meanwhile, since her victory, has turned her sights on Trump.