Bernie Sanders Exits 2020 Presidential Race: ‘The Campaign Ends, But Struggle For Justice Continues’

Senator Bernie Sanders announced on April 7 that he is dropping out of the 2020 presidential race, clearing the path for Joe Biden, whom he calls 'a very decent man,' to become the presumed Democratic nominee.

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UPDATE, 4/13/20, 3:06pm ET: Senator Bernie Sanders has officially endorsed Joe Biden for president. “We need you in the White House. I will do all that I can to see that that happens, Joe,” Sanders said during an April 13 livestream conversation with the former vice president. “I think that your endorsement means a great deal,” Biden replied. “It means a great deal to me. I think people are going to be surprised that we are apart on some issues but we’re awfully close on a whole bunch of others. I’m going to need you — not just to win the campaign, but to govern.”

The two politicians announced that they’re forming six task forces to cover the economy, education, criminal justice, immigration, climate change, and health care. “I look forward to working with you and bringing some great people into those task forces,” Sanders said. “Looking forward to working with you, pal,” Biden replied, adding that he would  “try my best not to let you all down.” Watch their conversation below.

ORIGINAL: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders announced on April 8 that he has dropped out of the 2020 presidential race, making former Vice President Joe Biden the presumptive Democratic nominee. Sanders, 78, broke the news in a morning phone call to his campaign staff, later announcing to his supporters in a social media address. While he did not formally endorse Biden in his speech, he made it clear that he will stand strong with him throughout the rest of primary season. “The fight for justice is what our campaign was about. The fight for justice is what our movement remains about. Today, I congratulate Joe Biden, a very decent man, who I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward, “Sanders said. “On a practical note, let me also say this: I will stay on the ballot on 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 have significant influence over the party platform and other issues. Then together, we will work to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history.”

“Please know that I do not make this decision lightly. In fact, it has been very difficult,” Sanders said about ending his “grassroots, multiracial, multigenerational” campaign. “Today I am suspending my campaign. But while the campaign ends, the struggle for justice continues on,” he stated. Sanders fought a fierce battle for the Democratic nomination in a candidate field that once saw 22 presidential hopefuls. The Democratic Socialist amassed millions of supporters as he campaigned on a platform of social change: universal healthcare, Medicare For All, student loan erasure, climate change legislature, a world of “justice, equality, and fairness.” You can listen to Sanders’ full concession speech below.

As a candidate, Sanders gained powerful political allies, like “Squad” members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and celebrity support in stars like Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, and Halsey. Sanders acknowledged in his address that while he won’t be president, he won the ideological battle; some of his values and platforms critics once called far-fetched are now considered mainstream — especially healthcare. Since coronavirus came to the United States, Sanders stopped holding rallies, and effectively stopped campaigning. Instead, he asked his supporters to donate to charities instead of campaigns. They raised over $3 million for coronavirus relief efforts in just over a month.

Biden released a statement following Sanders’ announcement, commending him for the work he’s done in Senate and on the campaign trail, and promising that he’ll work with him to achieve their common goal: defeating President Trump in November 2020. “Bernie gets a lot of credit for his passionate advocacy for the issues he cares about. But he doesn’t get enough credit for being a voice that forces us all to take a hard look in the mirror and ask if we’ve done enough,” Biden wrote. He also promised Sanders’ loyal supporters that he’s committed to being their candidate, too. “I see you, I hear you, and I understand the urgency of what it is we have to get done in this country. I hope you will join us. You are more than welcome. You’re needed.”

Sanders’ decision to drop out of the presidential race comes the day after the Wisconsin Democratic primary, which Republican Governor Tony Evers refused to delay, even in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Voters were forced to wait in day-long lines outside a handful of polling stations throughout the state, risking their lives to cast their ballots. Haunting photos of voters in face masks who had to abandon social-distancing rules flooded the internet.

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