Washington: US president Barack Obama said that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' new ideas and energy have helped the Democratic party and made Hillary Clinton, the first woman to clinch the bid for US presidency, "a better candidate". "It was a healthy thing for the Democratic Party to have a contested primary. I thought that Bernie Sanders brought enormous energy and new ideas. And he pushed the party and challenged them. I thought it made Hillary a better candidate," Obama said on Wednesday night during an interview with comedian Jimmy Fallon. NBC channel released some parts of the interview, which is scheduled to be aired on Thursday, in which the president goes over some recent aspects of the electoral race. "My hope is that over the next couple of weeks we are able to pull things together," said Obama, who plans to meet with Sanders on Thursday morning at the White House. The Vermont senator still refuses to drop out of the race, although Clinton is already the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate. However, Clinton's campaign, launched in April 2015, has been longer and tougher than many thought and she still has to overcome the obstacle of attracting the millions who voted for Senator Sanders, especially young people, in order to go to the November presidential elections with confidence. "I think she is whip smart. She is tough. And she deeply cares about working people and putting kids through school and making sure we are growing our economy," Obama described the former first lady, who he will not officially endorse until after his meeting with Sanders.