Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont whose policies championing economic equality and rhetoric advocating for a political revolution drew him scores of dedicated supporters, has ended his campaign for the White House.
“I wish I could give you better news, but I think you know the truth,” Sanders said in a live-streamed speech on Wednesday. “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. But let me say this very emphatically: As you all know, we have never been just a campaign. We are a grassroots, multiracial, multigenerational movement which has always believed that real change never comes from the top on down but always from the bottom on up.”
Sanders’ announcement comes after disappointing performances over the past few weeks of Democratic primaries, where the senator’s main competitor, Joe Biden, swept up victories in state after state. Sanders’ departure from the race now essentially paves the way for Biden to be the presumptive Democratic nominee to take on Donald Trump in the November election.
Though Sanders said his name would still remain on the ballot, he acknowledged that the path to victory for him was “virtually impossible.” Instead, Sanders said he would be working to support Biden in his race for the presidency to defeat Trump, whom he called “the most dangerous president in American history.”
“The greatest obstacle to real social change has everything to do with the power of the corporate and political establishment to eliminate our vision as to what is possible and what we are entitled to as human beings,” Sanders said, pointing to some of his campaign’s main policy proposals focused on Medicare for All, tuition-free public college, campaign finance reform and eradicating income inequality.
The Vermont senator also spoke about the devastating impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and said he would be “intensely involved in” combatting its damage through his work in Congress.
“I want to express to you my deep gratitude to each of you,” Sanders said. “While this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not.”
Responding to Sanders’ announcement, Biden commended the senator for being “a powerful voice for a fairer and more just America.”
“Bernie has done something rare in politics. He hasn’t just run a political campaign; he’s created a movement. 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,” Biden said in a statement. “While the Sanders campaign has been suspended — its impact on this election and on elections to come is far from over. We will address the existential crisis of climate change. We will confront income inequality in our nation. We will make sure healthcare is affordable and accessible to every American. We will make education at our public colleges and universities free. We will ease the burden of student debt. And, most important of all, we will defeat Donald Trump.”
Today I am suspending my campaign. But while the campaign ends, the struggle for justice continues on. https://t.co/MYc7kt2b16
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 8, 2020