Election 2020

Sanders Camp: Staff Cuts Just Reorganization, Not Ceding to Hillary

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) acknowledges the cheering crowd after a rally Feb. 19, 2016, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says cutting hundreds of staffers isn’t a sign of throwing in the towel but a product of reorganization to focus on remaining states.

To secure the Democratic nomination, 2,348 delegates are needed. Hillary Clinton won four out of five states on Tuesday — only Rhode Island went for Bernie — and has 1,645 pledged delegates to 1,318 for Sanders. But Hillary is near the finish line thanks to 520 superdelegates, whereas Sanders only has 39 out of the pool that includes lawmakers and party elites.

“Our campaign has now completed 80 percent of the primaries and caucuses. We look forward to winning here in Indiana next Tuesday and in the few remaining states and territories holding primaries and caucuses in May and June,” Sanders’ campaign spokesman Michael Briggs said Wednesday.

“That means that we no longer require many of the loyal and dedicated state and national support staffers who helped us in places like New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and other states where the nominating contests have been completed.”

Briggs said the campaign “will continue to have a strong and dedicated staff of more than 300 workers who are going to help us win in California and other contests still to come.”

“This campaign believes that we have a path toward victory and we’re going to marshal our resources to do everything we can to win the Democratic nomination,” he added.

The Sanders campaign certainly isn’t hurting for money, outpacing all other campaigns — including Hillary’s — in fundraising this year.

Sanders rallies supporters today in Oregon. At a Wednesday rally in Indiana, Bernie told his fans that he is “in this campaign to win and become the Democratic nominee” — and not just, as many have speculated, to maintain leverage to influence the party platform at the election.

“If you want the candidate who will be the strongest nominee, you’re looking at that candidate right now,” Sanders said. “The reason I am the strongest candidate is that our campaign is appealing not just to Democrats but to independents all over this country and even some Republicans.”

Jane Sanders told MSNBC this morning that her husband is “absolutely in it to win it.”

“You remember in mid-March after a string of losses, the media wrote his political obituary and we came back to win eight in a row. So we’re expecting to do the same here,” she said. “It was a difficult time. We knew that New York had 3 million independents that couldn’t vote in the closed primary and they would have had to change their party registration back in October last year.”

“Four out of the five contests that were just done last Tuesday were closed primaries again. The open primary, Rhode Island, we won. Connecticut we came very, very close, and if it had been an open primary, we have no doubt we would have won. Pennsylvania, we would have come close or won,” Jane Sanders continued.

“So we’re feeling good. Most of the primaries going forward are open, which I think is much more democratic. It’s also a smarter move for the Democratic Party because if you close the primary and you only have people that have been in the Democratic Party for years, what you are doing is effectively shutting the door on the millions of people that Bernie has brought into the political process during this election. So we’re going to go forward.”