PHILADELPHIA — Sen. Bernie Sanders, in a bid to bridge the Democratic Party's divide between his backers and supporters of Hillary Clinton, moved Tuesday to give Clinton the party's presidential nomination by acclamation.
His motion at the Democratic National Convention came after a nearly two-hour roll call vote and was greeted with chants of "Bernie! Bernie!"
The Vermont senator had waited 15 months to watch his delegates cast ballots for him at the convention.
He had hoped that he would be the candidate accepting the Democratic nomination in Philadelphia. But during his speech to the convention on Monday, Sanders told his delegates he was looking forward to their votes, even while urging them to help Clinton defeat GOP nominee Donald Trump in November.
Vermont went last in the roll call of states. After all of Clinton's and Sanders' delegate numbers had been announced, Sanders said, "I move that Hillary Clinton be selected as the nominee of the Democratic Party." He kissed his wife Jane and waved to the cheering crowd.
At the 2008 Democratic convention, Clinton interrupted the official roll call vote to move that then-Sen. Barack Obama be selected by acclamation.
Sanders told USA TODAY recently it was important for his delegates to cast their ballots for him at the convention because “I want the country and the world and our people to appreciate the kind of success we’ve had."
In nominating Sanders ahead of the roll call, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii said the Vermont senator had inspired a "movement of love" that calls on Americans to care about people who have lost their jobs or are buried under college debt, and about the environment, veterans and lives lost in unnecessary wars.
"Because this is a movement fueled by love, it can never be stopped or defeated," she said.
Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, in nominating Clinton, said 'she will fight for us all with her heart, her soul and her mind."
On Tuesday morning, Sanders made the rounds at delegation breakfasts. He was cheered at the Florida breakfast, a much warmer reception than the one received by Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who represents a Florida House district, when she spoke to the delegation on Monday. Wasserman Schultz, despised by Sanders' backers for how the DNC has treated him, drew jeers from some of those Florida backers, who chanted “Change! Change! Change!” and “Shame on you!”
On Sunday, Wasserman Schultz said she will resign as head of the DNC in response to leaked emails that show committee officials worked to undermine Sanders' his campaign when he and Clinton were competing for the Democratic nomination.
Sanders, who lost Florida’s primary, encouraged Florida delegates on Tuesday to help elect Clinton and defeat Trump and to stay focused on the most important issues.
“It is not just about electing candidates,” he said. “It is about transforming the country. Now, the media doesn’t like talking about the real issues. But that’s what the American people want to hear.”
Sanders has raised money for Wasserman Schultz’s primary opponent, Tim Canova. At an earlier Bloomberg breakfast meeting with reporters Tuesday, he said “we may” campaign for Canova in the district.
“Don’t think this is some kind of personal vendetta against Debbie. It's not,” he said. “We’re going to support this guy, Canova. He's a good candidate.”
Clinton said she'll campaign with Wasserman Schultz in Florida and angered Sanders delegates by appointing her to serve as “honorary chair” of her campaign’s 50-state program to help elect Democrats.
Sanders also met with New York delegates Tuesday, some of whom have been reluctant to declare allegiance to Clinton. Some cheered "We love you, Bernie!" and chanted, "Bernie, Bernie."
Some California delegates booed when Sanders stumped for Clinton at that breakfast.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Clinton supporter, praised Sanders for his primary run, for throwing his support behind Clinton, and for “keeping his eye on the ball.”
"The goal for the Democratic Party is to make sure Trump and that philosophy has no place in this country – ever,” he said.
Contributing: Susan Page, Michael Collins, Joe Spector, USA TODAY Network