Election 2020

Bernie Still 'an Active Candidate for President,' Says Campaign Manager

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) campaign manager emphatically confirmed on MSNBC this morning that the candidate has not dropped out of the presidential race after a Thursday night message to supporters.

Sanders livestreamed his lengthy address from Burlington, Vt., with an advance email notice to supporters that “the political revolution continues.”

“During this campaign, we won more than 12 million votes. We won 22 state primaries and caucuses. We came very close – within 2 points or less – in five more states,” the senator said. “In other words, our vision for the future of this country is not some kind of fringe idea. It is not a radical idea. It is mainstream. It is what millions of Americans believe in and want to see happen.”

“The major political task that we face in the next five months is to make certain that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly. And I personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time,” Sanders stressed. “But defeating Donald Trump cannot be our only goal. We must continue our grassroots efforts to create the America that we know we can become. And we must take that energy into the Democratic National Convention on July 25 in Philadelphia where we will have more than 1,900 delegates.”

Sanders said he met with Hillary Clinton recently and said he looked forward to working with her “to transform the Democratic Party so that it becomes a party of working people and young people, and not just wealthy campaign contributors.”

But he did not call Clinton the presumptive nominee or take himself out of the race.

“Yes, he is. Yes, he is. Yes, he is. He is an active candidate for president, yes,” campaign manager Jeff Weaver declared this morning.

“We are in discussions with the Clinton campaign. I think that’s been widely reported. Obviously, the secretary and senator met in person a couple nights ago. I’m in communication with the Clinton campaign on a daily basis. So we are working towards coming to a resolution on a number of issues, both process issues and substantive issues,” Weaver said.

“Over 12 million people voted for Bernie Sanders over this past year, and those people need to have their voices heard. That’s what he’s going ensure happens.”

Weaver acknowledged it’s “a concern, certainly, that the Clinton campaign has, that a number of these young folks, many of whom voted for the first time when they supported Bernie Sanders, will sit out” the general election.

“And so that’s why we are trying to make sure that they understand that Bernie Sanders is going to make sure their voice is heard through this process, that the change that they came out and voted for during the course of this campaign does not go away and we continue the momentum forward,” he said.

“There’s a tremendous burden on the Clinton campaign to demonstrate that they have heard these young people, that they understand their concerns, that they’re going to fight for a really progressive agenda, that they’re going to deal with some of the issues that young people are concerned about, like the high cost of college education in a meaningful way.That’s the burden, right? And that’s what these discussions are about, can we get to a place where these young people will know that their voice has been heard by Hillary Clinton.”