Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who saw his once-strong lead in the United States Democratic Party primary evaporate as the party’s establishment lined swiftly up behind rival Joe Biden, ended his presidential bid on Wednesday, an acknowledgement that the former vice president is too far ahead for him to have any reasonable hope of catching up.
The Vermont senator’s announcement makes Biden the presumptive Democratic nominee to challenge President Donald Trump in November.
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In an address to supporters streamed over the internet from his home in Burlington, Vermont, Sanders struck a defiant tone and, as he has throughout his campaign, railed against a “corporate and political establishment” lined up against him and his ideas.
He insisted that his campaign, while unsuccessful, won an “ideological struggle” and opened Americans’ eyes to the importance of his signature issues such as a higher minimum wage and free higher education.
Sanders seized on the current coronavirus pandemic as evidence that his proposal of Medicare for All is even more critical to the country than it was just a few months ago. He said the crisis has “exposed for all to see how absurd our current employer-based health insurance system is”.
He acknowledged that many of his supporters want him to stay in the race, but said he “cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win” and congratulated Biden, whom he called “a very decent man” that “I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward”.
In a statement following the announcement, Biden praised Sanders, saying he and his supporters “have changed the dialogue in America.”
“Bernie has done something rare in politics. He hasn’t just run a political campaign; he’s created a movement,” Biden said. “And make no mistake about it, I believe it’s a movement that is as powerful today as it was yesterday. That’s a good thing for our nation and our future.”
Reacting to the news on Twitter, President Trump used the occasion to sow discord between the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic Party and encouraged aggrieved Sanders supporters to back him in November.
Bernie Sanders is OUT! Thank you to Elizabeth Warren. If not for her, Bernie would have won almost every state on Super Tuesday! This ended just like the Democrats & the DNC wanted, same as the Crooked Hillary fiasco. The Bernie people should come to the Republican Party, TRADE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2020
Sanders initially exceeded sky-high expectations about his ability to recreate the magic of his 2016 presidential bid, and even overcame a heart attack last October on the campaign trail. But he found himself unable to convert unwavering support from progressives into a viable path to the nomination amid “electability” fears fueled by questions about whether his democratic socialist ideology would be palatable to general election voters.
The 78-year-old independent Senator began his latest White House bid facing questions about whether he could win back the supporters who chose him four years ago as an insurgent alternative to the party establishment’s choice, Hillary Clinton. Despite winning 22 states in 2016, there were no guarantees he’d be a major presidential contender this cycle, especially as the race’s oldest candidate.
Sanders, though, used strong polling and solid fundraising – collected almost entirely from small donations made online – to more than quiet early doubters. Like the first time, he attracted widespread support from young voters and was able to make new inroads within the Hispanic community, even as his appeal with African Americans remained small.
Bernie Sanders warns: Biden win ‘no slam dunk’
WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders is warning that if onetime rival Joe Biden doesn’t do more to promote his policies and reach out to Latino voters, the Democratic presidential nominee is at risk of falling short to President Donald Trump this November. Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who left the primary race in the spring and…
WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders is warning that if onetime rival Joe Biden doesn’t do more to promote his policies and reach out to Latino voters, the Democratic presidential nominee is at risk of falling short to President Donald Trump this November.
Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who left the primary race in the spring and has worked to shift Biden to the left on key issues, has made the warnings in public and private in recent days. Most recently, he went on MSNBC on Sunday to express concerns that Biden wasn’t speaking up enough about his economic proposals.
“I think Biden’s in an excellent position to win this election, but I think we have got to do more as a campaign than just go after Trump,” he said. “We also have to give people a reason to vote for Joe Biden. And Joe has some pretty strong positions on the economy, and I think we should be talking about that more than we have.”
In a Friday interview with PBS, Sanders was more blunt: “Am I here to tell you absolutely, this is a slam dunk, no chance that he will lose? That is not what I’m saying,” the Vermont senator said.
His comments follow a week when Biden campaigned with union workers in Michigan and released a tax plan focused on boosting U.S. manufacturing by punishing businesses that take jobs overseas. Biden also emphasized his economic agenda and attacked Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic while the former vice president spent Labor Day with union workers in Pennsylvania.
Sanders used his MSNBC appearance to urge Biden to speak more about some of his kitchen-table economic policies: raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, lowering prescription drug costs and expanding health insurance coverage.
Sanders said Biden’s policies are “a compromise” but that they were “pretty strong, progressive policies.”
He also encouraged Biden to focus more on Latino and young voters, groups that broadly supported Sanders during the primary. Biden has struggled to build enthusiasm among young voters, and some Democrats have expressed concerns about what they see as the campaign’s lack of outreach to Latino voters, which Sanders echoed on MSNBC.
“We got to reach out to the Latino community. You know, a lot of young people, you’ve got a lot of Latinos, African Americans who may not vote. They’re not gonna for Donald Trump, that’s for sure, but they may not vote at all,” Sanders said. “How do we bring them into the political process? How do we get them to vote?”
A Biden campaign adviser, Symone Sanders, was asked Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” whether the campaign would take Sanders’ advice.
“We know that we have work to do. And we have said from the beginning, and Vice President Biden has been very clear about this … that we are really working to earn every single vote in this country. And we want to earn the votes of the Latino and Hispanic community,” she said.
Sanders has campaigned for Biden, holding virtual rallies in seven states, including one this weekend in Michigan. It’s one of three states where Sanders warned Democrats should be “nervous” about their chances, along with Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
“The enthusiasm is with Trump, not with Biden,” Sanders said.
In 2016, Trump’s unexpected victories n those three Rust Belt states, bolstered in part by his support among white working class voters, helped deliver him the White House. The Biden campaign has focused much of its early efforts on those three states, with Biden and running mate Kamala Harris visiting all three in recent weeks.
While Sanders made his concerns public in recent interviews, he also has expressed them in private to the Biden campaign, according to Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ former presidential campaign manager.
“He has been in direct contact with the Biden team and has urged them to put more emphasis on how they will raise wages, create millions of good paying jobs, lower the cost of prescription drugs and expand health care coverage,” Shakir said.
Shakir said Sanders “also thinks that a stronger outreach to young people, the Latino community and the progressive movement will be of real help to the campaign.”
Biden has adopted some of Sanders’ more liberal proposals, but the Democratic nominee has been careful to avoid some of progressives’ more contentious policy priorities, such as defunding the police and adopting a fully government-run healthcare system. His commitment to a more centrist campaign has frustrated some progressives, who warn that Biden’s careful campaign could turn off young and minority voters.
But Sanders expressed confidence that those in the progressive movement who may be disappointed by Biden’s policies would still be motivated by a desire to win the White House.
“I would hope that, while people will have strong disagreements with Biden – I do – for the moment, put that aside,” Sanders said on PBS. “That’s what, in a sense, coalition politics is about: You come together for a common goal. The goal is to defeat Trump.”
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Bernie Sanders wants ‘serious debate’ with Biden after teaming up on the election
Sen. Bernie Sanders said Friday he plans to bring back robust policy debate with Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, after the election, but stressed the importance of “coalition politics.” As a self-described democratic socialist, Mr. Sanders said he obviously disagrees with Mr. Biden on a number of issues, but that the Democratic Party needs…
Sen. Bernie Sanders said Friday he plans to bring back robust policy debate with Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, after the election, but stressed the importance of “coalition politics.”
As a self-described democratic socialist, Mr. Sanders said he obviously disagrees with Mr. Biden on a number of issues, but that the Democratic Party needs to unite ahead of the November election.
The Vermont independent even extended that call for unity to Republicans like former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who endorsed Mr. Biden at the Democratic National Convention this week.
“We’re going to come together to defeat Trump,” Mr. Sanders told “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah. “And the day after Biden is elected, we’re going to have a serious debate about the future of this country, but it will be done within the framework of a democratic society.”
“What you’re seeing now is what I would call a united front of people of many different points of view,” he added. “So this is what coalition politics is about.”
Some progressives were frustrated that Republicans got so much time to participate in the DNC convention, feeling like some of their liberal voices weren’t given the same amount of time.
Mr. Sanders was Mr. Biden’s closest competition in the Democratic presidential primary, though he suspended his campaign in April. However, he had collected enough delegate votes to be formally nominated at the convention.
Part of the GOP’s strategy has been to link Mr. Biden to Mr. Sanders, framing their connection as the nominee’s embrace of the “radical left.”
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Bernie Sanders warns DNC: ‘The price of failure is just too great to imagine’
Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont warned his supporters Monday that President Trump will erase the gains his political revolution has made over the course of the last six years. In a virtual address to the Democratic National Convention, Mr. Sanders thanked his followers for pushing the nation in a “bold new direction,” and said the…
Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont warned his supporters Monday that President Trump will erase the gains his political revolution has made over the course of the last six years.
In a virtual address to the Democratic National Convention, Mr. Sanders thanked his followers for pushing the nation in a “bold new direction,” and said the stakes are too high this election not get behind presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden.
“Let us be clear: if Donald Trump is re-elected all the progress we have made will be in jeopardy,” Mr. Sanders said.
“We must come together to defeat Donald Trump and elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as our next president and vice president,” he said. “My friends, the price of failure is just too great to imagine.”
Mr. Sanders has arguably done more than anyone else to push the Democratic party in a more liberal direction over the course of his back-to-back bids for president.
Mr. Sanders said working families have suffered and said “together we must build a nation that is more equitable, more compassionate and more inclusive.”
“I know that Joe Biden will begin that fight on Day One,” he said.
He cited Mr. Biden’s support for a $15 minimum wage, expanding pre-kindergarten and transition the nation to 100% clean electricity over the next 15 years.
Mr. Sanders said he disagrees with Mr. Biden’s overall health care views, but said that his approach will expand access to coverage and cut the cost of prescription drugs.
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