By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) – President Barack Obama ended months of speculation Thursday by offering his formal endorsement to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
"I'm with her," Obama said in a pre-recorded message posted to Clinton's campaign webpage.
"I know how hard this job can be. That's why I know Hillary will be so good at it," Obama said. "I don't think there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office."
The announcement follows a private Oval Office meeting between Obama and Clinton's Democratic rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Sanders is coming off decisive losses Tuesday in major primary voting contests across the country, including California, the country’s most populous state, and New Jersey that solidified Clinton as the presumptive nominee.
Sanders vowed to take his campaign to the Democratic convention but said he will work with Clinton to defeat presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Throughout his campaign, Sanders railed against income inequality, student debt and campaign donation regulations that empower wealthy donors – gaining a fervent following in the process.
In his message, Obama thanked Sanders for helping to involve millions of Americans in the democratic process for the first time.
During his meeting with Sanders, Obama said he "thanked him for shining a spotlight on issues like economic inequality and the outsized importance of money in our politics and bringing young people into the process."