Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders suspended his second bid for the White House this morning. The presidential candidates have been forced to campaign online in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but that is not the reason Sanders gave for giving up his run for the Democratic nomination.
During a live webstream, Bernie Sanders first thanked everyone who has helped stump, support or been involved in his campaign in any way. He quoted Nelson Mandela: “It always seems impossible until it is done” as he repeated the principles of his campaign. “If we don’t believe that we are entitled to health care 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 live in a world of justice, democracy and fairness we will continue to have massive income and wealth inequality, prejudice and hatred in the richest country on Earth. And focusing on that new vision for America is what our campaign has been about and what in fact we have accomplished.”
Sanders slammed what he called the “horrific” state of the nation’s health care system. He went on to note that much of the ideology he has promoted over the past five years is no longer considered radical and is being implemented in localities across the country. “Not only are we winning the struggle ideologically we are also winning it generationally. The future of our country rests with young people. And in state after state, whether we won or whether we lost the Democratic primaries or caucuses, we received a significant majority of the votes. Sometimes an 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.”
Sanders told his supporters he would continue his campaign if winning the nomination was feasible. But he and his advisors determined it is mathematically impossible for him to win enough delegates against former Vice President Joe Biden. “I know that there may be some in our movement who would like us to fight on to the last ballot 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. Today I congratulate Joe Biden, a very decent man, who I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward.”
Sanders said he will remain on the ballot in all remaining primary and caucus states in order to continue to gather delegates to assure influence on the Democratic party platform.