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In an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Clinton, the Democratic nominee four years ago, urged voters to "vote for the person that you believe can actually win in November."
The notion that Clinton was criticizing Sanders, a self-avowed democratic socialist, was reaffirmed when DeGeneres said: "It seems to me more than ever we need somebody who’s going to go in and be able to kind of steer this ship in the right direction instead of going to an extreme," she said. "Do you have someone you’re leaning toward right now?"
Clinton declined to say who she wants to face off against President Trump come November, instead stressing the importance of electability and the need to win not just the popular vote but the Electoral College.
"Look at the candidates, and clearly, you’ll like someone better than others," the former secretary of state said. "And then analyze that person’s positions and their message. Can that person win?"
"You’ve got to be very clear-minded about who can win," she added.
Clinton and Sanders were engaged in a surprisingly drawn-out and bitter clash during the 2016 Democratic primary. Though he frequently portrayed her as a proponent of billionaires and Wall Street, Sanders, after 14 months of terse back-and-forths, eventually endorsed Clinton for president in July 2016.
But Clinton would not commit to doing the same for Sanders in 2020. Asked by The Hollywood Reporter whether she would endorse and campaign for Sanders if he wins the nomination, she said: “I’m not going there yet. We’re still in a very vigorous primary season.”
She also infamously said that "nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician. It’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.”
According to an aggregate of polls by RealClearPolitics, Sanders is in second place to Joe Biden nationally. He’s also a top candidate in the early-voting states of New Hampshire, which he won in 2016, and is neck-and-neck with Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, in Iowa.