Hillary Clinton appeals to rival's backers after claiming party nomination

Updated: 2016-06-08 17:30


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Hillary Clinton appeals to rival's backers after claiming party nomination

Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stands onstage with her husband former President Bill Clinton (L) after speaking during her California primary night rally held in the Brooklyn borough of New York, US, June 7, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON-- Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Tuesday appealed to rival Bernie Sanders' supporters for party unity after declaring herself the first woman to be nominated by a major US political party.

"Let there be no mistake: Senator Sanders, his campaign and the vigorous debate that we've had about how to raise income, reduce inequality, increase upward mobility, have been very good for the Democratic Party and for America," said Clinton at a rally in New York.

"It never feels good to put our heart into a cause or a candidate you believe in and come up short. I know that feeling well," said Clinton in an attempt to connect with Sanders' supporters using her loss in 2008 primary race to Barack Obama.

"But as we look ahead to the battle that awaits, let's remember all that unites us," she added.

Clinton hit the 2,383-delegate threshold to clinch the nomination on Monday night according to a survey by the Associated Press which showed that Clinton had garnered enough support of superdelegates to claim the party nomination.

On Tuesday night, Clinton further expanded her lead over Sanders in delegate count, notching victories in New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota, three of the six states voting Tuesday.

Clinton also unleashed harsh criticism against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump for his past incendiary remarks against women, Muslims and immigrants and took specific aim at his latest comments about a Hispanic-American judge because of his ethnic background.

"The stakes in this election are high and the choice is clear. Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president and commander-in-chief," said Clinton.

Over the past week, Trump repeatedly accused US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the Indiana-born jurist overseeing a civil fraud suit in California involving Trump University, of being unfit for the case because he was of "Mexican heritage."

Trump implied that Curiel, the Hispanic-American judge, was biased against him because of Trump's proclamation that he would build a wall along the border between America and Mexico to halt illegal immigration.

Trump expanded his argument on Sunday, suggesting to several US cable news hosts that a Muslim judge are also unlikely to rule without bias in the case because of his previous call for a temporary ban on Muslim entering the United States.