Sanders Fans Boo Calls to Support Clinton

      PHILADELPHIA (CN) — Sen. Bernie Sanders thanked a ballroom stocked with rabid supporters for building his progressive movement over the past year, but elicited boos when he called on them to support Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
     Speaking just hours before the opening gavel of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Sanders assured the large crowd that it changed the way the Democratic Party will conduct its primaries.
     “Make no mistake about it,” Sanders said, “We’ve made history.”
     The Vermont senator touted accomplishments including a promised a sixty percent decline in super delegates and the reduction of closed primaries.
     He also noted Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ exit as Democratic National Committee chair, prompting robust cheers from the crowd of delegates.
     “We showed that you can run a national campaign without begging billionaires for money,” Sanders said.
     “I think people seriously need to look at their conscience and vote the way they think that is the best direction for their county,” Michigan delegate Bruce Blehart told Courthouse News. Blehart said he had hoped the party would unite behind Sanders, but didn’t expect it.
     Sanders told the crowd that although his campaign started as a fringe movement, “we are fringe players no longer.”
     Rumblings of a roll call challenge have been circulating since last week, after by anti-Donald Trump Republican delegates briefly caused chaos on the floor of the Republican National Convention last week in Cleveland.
     “The roll call vote is this week and that’s when it’s over and he will no longer be running for president after the vote is done,” Nick Seider of California told Courthouse News. “And I’d like to see him stay in it until the very end.”
     Seider wouldn’t say whether he or others have taken the rumblings to heart, but said “we’re all emotional right now.”
     Sanders was introduced by “Killer Mike” Michael Render and actress Rosario Dawson, who told the crowd, ” I can’t keep being thanked for pulling [Hillary Clinton] to the left if she doesn’t stick to it.”
     Render noted the racial, religious and gender diversity throughout the room, telling the crowd, “This is what the Democratic party looks like.”
     The crowd was overwhelmingly in support of Sanders, booing at the mention of Clinton and newly announced running mate Tim Kaine, and, of course, Donald Trump.
     The ballroom was rushed by supporters before the event was opened, leading security to clear the room so that Sanders’ delegates to attend the event, but a large number of delegates and general public were shut out of returning to the ballroom.
     Outside, New York delegate Juan Rosa told Courthouse News, “He endorsed Hillary but what I want to hear is, not instructions, but sort of a message to us, the people who were on the ground fighting for him for all those months, for him to make us feel like it’s fine for us to move on, move on knowing that we’re not going to bury what we created but we’re going to continue with a message of change and, again, real democratic values, but also that we need to concentrate on winning the White House in November.”
     Rosa said he was hoping the Bernie delegation wouldn’t disrupt floor proceedings at the convention.
     “I think what we saw last week in Cleveland really makes us feel like we just need to be united and that our enemy is not ourselves, our enemy is on the other side of the political aisle.”

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