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Bernie Sanders Staying In Democratic Presidential Primary Race

Bernie Sanders speaks at Super Tuesday rally in Vermont
Pat Bradley/WAMC
Bernie Sanders speaks at Super Tuesday rally in Vermont

Former Vice President Joe Biden had another big night on Big Tuesday — a week after his Super Tuesday victories. Now, some pundits say Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders can’t win enough delegates to win the nomination and should withdraw.  But early Wednesday afternoon, the Vermont Senator made it clear he is staying in the race and will debate Biden this weekend.
Sanders gave what amounted to an abbreviated version of his stump speech in his first comments since Tuesday’s results, and he started with President Trump.
“He clearly does not understand the Constitution of the United States and thinks that he is a president who is above the law. In my view he is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe and a religious bigot and he must be defeated and I will do everything in my power to make that happen.”

Sanders’ subsequent comments showed he has no intention of ending his campaign. He admitted that Tuesday evening was not good for the campaign’s delegate count with losses in Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri and Idaho.  “While we are currently losing the delegate count we are strongly winning in two enormously important areas. A strong majority of the American people support our progressive agenda. Our campaign continues to win the vast majority of the votes of younger people. Today I say to the Democratic establishment in order to win in the future you need to win the voters who represent the future of our country and you must speak to the issues of concern to them.  

Sanders said he is preparing to debate Biden.  “I cannot tell you how many people have said and I quote I agree with what your campaign stands for but I’m going to vote for Joe Biden because I think Joe is the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump, end of quote. Needless to say I strongly disagree. Donald Trump must be defeated. On Sunday night the American people will have the opportunity to see which candidate is best positioned to accomplish that goal.”

Middlebury College Professor Emeritus of Political Science Eric Davis is not surprised that Sanders is staying in for now.  "I think he wants the opportunity to have a one-on-one with Joe Biden on the same stage, to push Biden on some policy issues.  But I didn’t hear him say I’m in this to the convention, I’m going to make a floor fight of the nomination in Milwaukee or anything like that. So I think you know next week there are primaries in a number of important states: Illinois, Florida, Ohio. Georgia is two weeks from yesterday. We’ll see what happens late in March, early in April whether Sanders still continues as an active candidate.”

Biden leads with 857 delegates while Sanders has 709 of the 1,991 needed to obtain the nomination.


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