Bernie Sanders Earns Key Endorsement From Robert Reich, Bill Clinton's Former Labor Secretary

Bernie Sanders Earns Key Endorsement From Robert Reich, Bill Clinton’s Former Labor Secretary

Bernie Sanders has earned the endorsement from one of the most prominent Clinton cabinet members, with former labor secretary Robert Reich giving his support to Hillary Clinton’s main rival.

Reich announced his endorsement on Twitter on Friday night, and then gave a longer explanation in a Facebook post. Reich said that Sanders is “leading a movement to reclaim America for the many, not the few.”

“And such a political mobilization – a “political revolution,” as he puts it — is the only means by which we can get the nation back from the moneyed interests that now control so much of our economy and democracy.

“This extraordinary concentration of income, wealth, and political power at the very top imperils all else – our economy, our democracy, the revival of the American middle class, the prospects for the poor and for people of color, the necessity of slowing and reversing climate change, and a sensible foreign policy not influenced by the “military-industrial complex,” as President Dwight Eisenhower once called it. It is the fundamental prerequisite: We have little hope of achieving positive change on any front unless the American people are once again in control.”

While Robert Reich was a key cabinet member under Bill Clinton, leading a series of minimum-wage increases, he has not been afraid to break with the Clintons in the past. In 2008 he endorsed Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination over Hillary Clinton, and also served on Obama’s economic transition team, the Huffington Post noted.

Reich’s announcement had been telegraphed for weeks, as the former Clinton labor secretary had been sharing messages on Twitter that were sympathetic to Sanders and his emphasis on moving beyond big-money interests.

“But I believe Bernie Sanders is the agent of change this nation so desperately needs,” Reich added.

The endorsement from Robert Reich comes in a week when Bernie Sanders won a number of other key backers. Earlier this week he earned the support of LUCHA, the most influential Latino rights group in Arizona. Leadership from the advocacy group, which had never made a political endorsement before, said that its members spoke out in favor of Sanders and encouraged the endorsement.

Like Robert Reich, LUCHA has a strong emphasis on empowering families by raising the minimum wage, a stance that Sanders endorses as well.

“Every day, we hear the stories of Moms working at fast-food restaurants for 11 years and only making $11 an hour and students who want to get more involved but their tuition is squeezing them,” said Alejandra Gomez, co-executive director of LUCHA. “At every turn, our community is being squeezed, and the only candidate speaking for them is Bernie.”

The LUCHA endorsement is also important for Sanders as he aims to chip into Hillary Clinton’s lead among non-white voters. Experts are starting to see growing signs of support for Sanders among this group. Antonio Gonzalez, president of the William C. Velásquez Institute, which has run exit polling in Nevada, said Sanders out-performed Clinton among Latino voters, and especially has the enthusiasm of younger voters.

“The leadership that is older is all Clinton, but the younger Latinos, they’re with Sanders,” Gonzalez told the Los Angeles Times. The report added, “Gonzalez said the rift is present in his own family. ‘My daughters are Sanders people,’ he said. ‘My wife is with Hillary.’ ”

While Robert Reich has given his endorsement to Bernie Sanders, he is not abandoning Hillary Clinton. In his Facebook post he said that he has the “deepest respect and admiration for Hillary Clinton” and that he would “work my heart out” to help her become president if she should win the nomination.

[Picture by Win McNamee/Getty Images]