Bernie Sanders Asks Supporters to Donate to Democratic Party, 'Show Commitment to Party Unity'

Senator Bernie Sanders sent his supporters an email Friday urging them donate to the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Sanders endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday after dropping out of the race for president the previous week. The independent senator who twice sought the Democratic nomination asked supporters to donate to the DNC in the name of "party unity."

"My campaign for president may be over, but our struggle continues," the email says. "That struggle begins with defeating Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history, but it does not end there."

"I will also be doing everything in my power to elect strong progressives at every level of government," it continues. "Make a $7 contribution to the Democratic Unity Fund today to show your commitment to party unity by helping elect Democrats nationwide."

Former President Barack Obama, who endorsed Biden Tuesday, announced the creation of the Democratic Unity Fund in May 2019, saying it was intended to bring the party together behind the eventual Democratic nominee.

"I'm excited that the DNC asked me to announce a bold new effort: The Democratic Unity Fund," Obama said in an email at the time. "The Democratic Unity Fund is a promise that whoever earns our nomination, he or she will have a strong, united, and well-organized DNC ready to spring into action the moment the general election starts."

Bernie Sanders
Senator Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters during a webcast on March 17, 2020. via Getty Images/Getty

Despite the endorsement, a number of Sanders supporters have expressed resistance to the idea of supporting the former vice president in the upcoming election, insisting that too many of the policy positions offered by Sanders are absent in Biden's platform. Former Sanders campaign Press Secretary Briahna Joy Gray made it clear she was not endorsing Biden shortly after Sanders made his endorsement.

"With the utmost respect for Bernie Sanders, who is an incredible human being & a genuine inspiration, I don't endorse Joe Biden," Gray tweeted on Monday. "I supported Bernie Sanders because he backed ideas like #MedicareForAll, cancelling ALL student debt, & a wealth tax. Biden supports none of those."

Sanders noted that Gray was no longer "on the payroll" during a Tuesday interview with the Associated Press. He also urged his supporters to support his former rival regardless of any differences, insisting that defeating President Donald Trump is more important.

"I believe that it's irresponsible for anybody to say, 'Well, I disagree with Joe Biden—I disagree with Joe Biden!—and therefore I'm not going to be involved,'" Sanders said during the interview.

Some supporters of Sanders have also been reluctant to get behind Biden due to an allegation that he sexually assaulted his former Senate aide Tara Reade in 1993. Biden and his campaign have denied the allegation, saying that the incident "absolutely did not happen."

Newsweek reached out to Sanders for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.