Hillary Clinton has officially staked her claim as the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, taking her place in history as the first woman to claim the presidential nomination of a major U.S. party after capturing primary victories in California, New Mexico, South Dakota and New Jersey Tuesday, Al-Jazeera reports.
“Thanks to you, we’ve reached a milestone, the first time in our nation’s history that a woman will be a major party’s nominee for president of the United States,” Clinton said at a rally in New York.
“Tonight’s victory is not about one person. It belongs to generations of women and men who struggled and sacrificed and made this moment possible. In our country, it started right here in New York, a place called Seneca Falls, in 1848, when a small but determined group of women, and men, came together with the idea that women deserved equal rights. And they set it forth in something called the Declaration of Sentiments, and it was the first time in human history that that kind of declaration occurred,” she continued. “So we all owe so much to those who came before, and tonight belongs to all of you.”
Clinton also gave a nod to fellow Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders, who claimed victory in North Dakota and Montana on Tuesday, congratulating him on the “extraordinary campaign he has run.”
“He has spent his long career in public service fighting for progressive causes and principles, and he’s excited millions of voters, especially young people. And let there be no mistake: Sen. Sanders, his campaign and the vigorous debate that we’ve had about how to raise incomes, reduce inequality, increase upward mobility have been very good for the Democratic Party and for America,” she said.
However, despite the apparent loss, Sanders was not backing down—telling NBC News that his campaign would “take our fight” to the Democratic National Convention—and was still planning to compete in Washington, D.C.’s primary next week.
“We are going to fight hard to win the primary in Washington, D.C. And then we take our fight for social, economic, racial and environmental justice to Philadelphia, Pa.,” Sanders vowed to supporters in California. “I am pretty good at arithmetic and I know that the fight in front of us is a very, very steep fight. But we will continue to fight for every vote and every delegate we can get.”
Sanders also expressed concern, pointing out that the Associated Press announced Clinton as the presumptive nominee the night before “the largest primary,” and based on “anonymous” commitments from superdelegates who do not actually officially weigh in until the late-July convention.
“They got on the phone, as I understand it, and started hounding superdelegates to tell them in an anonymous way who they were voting for,” he said. “The night before the largest primary, biggest primary in the whole process, they make this announcement. … So I was really disappointed in what the AP did.”