No Democratic candidate will get the ultimate stamp of approval during the presidential primary. President Barack Obama will only offer an endorsement after a candidate earns the party’s nomination, according to Dennis McDonough, the White House Chief of Staff.
"We’ll do exactly what has been done in the past, which is when the nominee will be set, then the President will be out there (for him/her)," McDonough said on NBC’s Meet the Press.
It is routine for a sitting president to reserve endorsement until the party’s primary is over. However, it was rumored that Obama could’ve endorsed Vice President Joe Biden had he chosen to run for the nomination, according to Politico.
In August 2015, Politico reported that White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters, "I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of an endorsement in the Democratic primary” because Biden understands what it takes to run a “successful national presidential campaign."
"He will see who the nominee is at the end of that (the primary process), that’s not our job. That’s the job of the party to make those decisions and then they’ll take a look at the agendas and the positions of those candidates, then we’ll make some final decisions," McDonough said.
Obama has said that he won’t endorse or campaign for a candidate that doesn’t support gun control legislation.
"I will not campaign for, vote for or support any candidate, even in my own party, who does not support common-sense gun reform," Obama wrote in an editorial for the New York Times. "And if the 90 percent of Americans who do support common-sense gun reforms join me, we will elect the leadership we deserve."
The Commander-in-Chief’s perspective on gun control led Meet the Press’ host, Chuck Todd, to question if Obama would support Sanders if he earns the nomination. The Vt. senator voted for legislation that offers gun manufacturers immunity from prosecution in mass shooting cases where their firearms are used.
In response to Todd’s question, McDonough said that Obama will be a "single issue voter" on gun control legislation, but didn’t indicate if the POTUS will endorse Sanders if he wins the nomination.