Hillary Clinton’s rally in California was cut short this week when a group of Bernie Sanders backers broke out into a loud protest, with some of the demonstrators even turning their anger against children who were backing Clinton.
Clinton was speaking to a mostly Latino crowd in Monterey Park on Thursday when protesters descended, going after Clinton for her immigration policies and her opposition to a $15 minimum wage, Raw Story reported. The protesters repeatedly interrupted Clinton, who ultimately had to cut the event short.
Some of the protesters were from the political group Union del Barrio, which took on Clinton for her supposedly anti-immigrant policies.
“She would do absolutely nothing to help the middle class,” said Cilena Aziz, a Sanders supporter (via NBC Los Angeles).
After the event the protest turned even uglier, with Bernie Sanders supporters crowding around a walkway and shouting at attendees as they left the rally. Witnesses said they even targeted children who came to the event along with their parents.
— Matt Bermudez (@mattbermudezz) May 6, 2016
One of these incidents was even caught on video, with a young boy breaking into tears as the protesters shouted around him. The boy was confronted by a man wearing a “Free Hugs” shirt, who helped him navigate through the crowd.
Reports later identified the man as one of the demonstrators, but he and another women stopped their protest to help the family make it past the crowd.
— SAC On Scene (@SAConScene) May 6, 2016
At the event, Hillary Clinton pushed back against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s plans to create a “deportation force to round up millions of people.” Clinton said voting for her would be the best way to stop these plans from being put into motion, and vowed to push for an overhaul of immigration laws. The trip to California is an important one for Hillary Clinton as she met with local black and Latino leaders.
Clinton also didn’t seem bothered by the loud protests from Bernie Sanders supporters.
“I am 3 million-plus votes ahead of Senator Sanders, right?” Clinton told the crowd. “I am nearly 300 pledged delegates ahead of Senator Sanders.”
— Gabriel Debenedetti (@gdebenedetti) May 6, 2016
But aside from some boasts about her large lead over Sanders, Hillary Clinton has mostly refrained from putting any public pressure on him to drop out of the Democratic race.
“I’m not calling myself that (the presumptive nominee),” Clinton said. “I know there are some contests ahead and I respect Sen. Sanders and whatever choices he’s making. And I have a lot of empathy about this, Anderson. You know, I ran to the very end in 2008.”
Clinton knows that she will need the Vermont senator’s fervent supporters, and she has already taken some steps to bring them into her camp, CNN noted. Clinton said that she will support the backers of Bernie Sanders, even if they do not support her, and Clinton backers said she has more plans to reach out in the coming weeks.
But even if Hillary Clinton isn’t putting pressure on Bernie Sanders to drop out, his time will be running out on its own. He would need massive wins in all of the remaining states just to have a chance to catch Clinton, and that includes Clinton-friendly states like New Jersey. By the time Californians go to vote on June 7, the race may effectively be over.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]