U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., announced on Wednesday morning in a message to supporters that he was suspending his presidential campaign.
Sanders, 78, said that he did not see a path forward to win the nomination. Trailing former Vice President Joe Biden, 77, by 303 delegates, Sanders said the pathway to victory is “virtually impossible.”
“So while we are winning the ideological battle, and while we are winning the support of so many young people and working people throughout the country, I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful,” he said.
Sanders said that the decision was not an easy one.
“If I believe that we are a feasible path of nomination, I would certainly continue that campaign. But it’s just not there. I know that there may be some in a movement who disagree with this decision, who would like us to fight on to the last valid cast at the Democratic Convention? I understand that position. But as I see the crisis gripping the nation, exacerbated by a president, unwilling or unable to provide any kind of credible leadership, and the work that needs to be done to protect people in this most desperate hour, I cannot in good conscience, continue to mount a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour,” he explained.
Sanders said that he would work with Biden, but leave his name on the ballot to continue to collect delegates.
“I congratulate Joe Biden, a very decent man who I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward. On a practical note, let me also say this, I will stay on the ballot in all remaining states and continue to gather delegates, while Vice President Biden will be the nominee. We must continue working to assemble as many delegates as possible at the Democratic Convention, where we will be able to exert significant influence over the party platform and other functions,” he said.
Sanders told his followers that they have to believe they are entitled to numerous things before they can receive those entitlements.
“The greatest obstacle to real social change has everything to do with the power of the corporate and political establishment, to limit our vision as to what is possible, and what we are entitled to as human beings. If we don’t believe that we are entitled to healthcare as a human right, we will never achieve universal health care. If we don’t believe that we are entitled to decent wages and working conditions, millions of us will continue to live in poverty. If we don’t believe that we are entitled to all of the education, we require to fulfill our dreams, many of us will leave schools saddled with huge debt and never the education we need,” he said.
“If we don’t believe that we are entitled to live in a world that has a clean environment and is not ravaged by climate change. We will continue to see more drought floods rising sea levels and increasingly uninhabitable planet. If we don’t believe that we are entitled to live in a world of justice, democracy and fairness, without racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia or religious bigotry, we will continue to have massive income and wealth inequality, prejudice and hatred, mass incarceration, terrified immigrants, and hundreds of thousands of Americans sleeping out on the streets in the richest country on earth,” Sanders added.
Sanders noted that while his campaign was not victorious, his movement was successful in shifting the Democratic Party to the left and capturing the future of the party.
“Please also appreciate that not only are we winning the struggle ideologically, we are also winning it generationally. The future of our country rests with young people, and state after state whether we won or whether we lost the Democratic primaries or caucuses, we received a significant majority of the votes, sometimes the overwhelming majority from people not only 30 years of age or under but 50 years of age or younger. In other words, the future of this country is with our ideas,” he said.