Senator Bernie Sanders Suspends Presidential Campaign


Courtesy of Tom Gralish and The Philadelphia Inquirer

Courtesy of Tom Gralish and The Philadelphia Inquirer

Cate McCusker, Co-News Editor

On April 8, after an inspiring campaign, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the presidential race. An end to Sanders’ campaign leaves former Vice President Joe Biden as the presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee.

After a failed attempt at the Democratic nomination in 2016, Sanders began his second campaign for the presidency back in February of 2019. His campaign, as he described it, was “a grass-roots, multiracial, multigenerational movement which has always believed that real change never comes from the top on down, but always from the bottom on up.”

In the initial primaries and caucuses, Sanders did well. He won the popular vote in Iowa, and the most delegates in both New Hampshire and Nevada. However, as the primaries moved south, Sanders struggled. He was defeated by Biden on Super Tuesday, and nearly every primary contest since.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sanders officially announced the suspension of his campaign through a live-streamed video from his house in Vermont. After thanking all his supporters and everyone that helped him during his campaign, Sanders declared that this movement has won the “ideological struggle.”

He acknowledged some main points of his campaign and encouraged everyone to continue to work towards these goals.

“A majority of the American people now understand that we must raise the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour, that we must guarantee health care as a right to all of our people, that we must transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and that higher education must be available to all, regardless of income,” Sanders said.

Sanders expressed that he was proud of what the movement has accomplished and encouraged his supporters to continue the fight. However, he announced that it was time to face the truth.

“We are now some 300 delegates behind Vice President Biden, and the path toward victory is virtually impossible…so today I’m announcing the suspension of my campaign,” Sanders said.

Sanders congratulated Biden and announced that he will be working with him to move their ideas forward. Sanders then stated that he will stay on the ballot, and he will continue to gather delegates. He explained that he wants to continue influencing the Democratic platform.

Before ending his video announcement, Sanders reaffirmed that his goal remains to defeat Republican President Donald Trump.

“Then together, standing united, we will go forward to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history,” Sanders said.

After Sanders’ announcement, President Trump, who is running for re-election in November, expressed his feelings over the end of the campaign via Twitter. He compared Sanders’ suspension to his 2016 campaign, which hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s election chances, or what Trump called the “Crooked Hillary fiasco.” Trump also expressed hopes that Sanders’ supporters would not move to support Biden, or as he called him, “Sleepy Joe.”

Biden himself also responded to the end of Sanders’ campaign. According to CNN, Biden reached out to Sanders’ supporters.

“I see you, I hear you, and I understand the urgency of what it is we have to get done in this country,” Biden said. “I hope you will join us. You are more than welcome. You’re needed.”