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Robert Reich: You need to “work like hell” for Hillary Clinton if Bernie doesn’t win

Robert Reich, a prominent Bernie Sanders ally.
Robert Reich, a prominent Bernie Sanders ally.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders die-hards aren't ready to hear that his fight for the nomination is nearing an end — even from some of his most prominent surrogates.

On Thursday, Sanders ally Robert Reich published a Facebook post urging readers to not "demonize or denigrate" Hillary Clinton, and to be prepared to vote for her in a general election against Donald Trump.

"If [Clinton] wins the Democratic nomination, I urge you to work like hell for her," said Reich, who endorsed Sanders months ago. "She’ll be an excellent president for the system we now have, even though Bernie would be the best president for the system we need."

It didn't go over so well. Few commentators have more credibility with Sanders loyalists than Reich, a Berkeley public policy professor and former labor secretary who has become a leading critic of income inequality. Reich also took pains to stress that Sanders could still win the nomination, and that his supporters should keep pushing for him until the final ballot is cast.

But his post was still immediately met with a torrent of opposition, suggesting the depth of some Sanders fans' opposition to his overall message: that they should get behind Clinton against Trump in November.

"No to fighting for Hillary. She's never fought for me, so she has no right to expect me to fight for her," wrote one reader in a Facebook comment that received more than 1,700 likes. "If Bernie doesn't get the nomination, I'll be writing him in anyway come November."

Added another: "I think if Clinton supporters force her nomination they deserve a Trump Presidency!"

And a third: "No. Hillary is a monster, and the souls of the millions dead in Iraq, Libya, and Honduras because of us require us to say so loudly."

Here's Reich's post:

The map we see every presidential election is pretty much useless