Following another round of devastating primary losses on Tuesday, Bernie Sanders delivered a statement to the media from Burlington, Vermont. The one-time frontrunner was facing calls to drop out, with some are already declaring the race over. But Sanders made it clear that he’s not going anywhere, saying he looks forward to debating Joe Biden on Sunday, and telling the former vice president directly that he has questions he expects him to answer during that debate.
Sanders began his speech with an anti-Trump tirade. “Tragically, we have a president today who is a pathological liar, and who is running a corrupt administration. he clearly does not understand the constitution of the united states, and thinks that he is a president who is above the law,” he said. “In my view, he is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe and a religious bigot, and he must be defeated, and I will do everything in my power to make that happen.”
After getting all those adjectives out of the way, he finally acknowledged, “Last night, obviously was not a good night for our campaign from a delegate point of view.” Sanders noted that despite his deficit of votes and delegates, “we are strongly winning in two enormously important areas which will determine the future of our country.” He cited exit polls that show Democrat voters support his “progressive agenda,” including raising the minimum wage, tuition-free college, and Medicare for all. He also noted that his campaign has the support of younger voters.
According to Sanders, his campaign isn’t just winning the ideological debate, but the generational debate as well. He acknowledged that Biden does well with older voters, while he’s captured the younger generations’ votes.
In a message directly to the “Democratic establishment,” Bernie warned, “You need to win the voters who represent the future of our country and you must speak to the issues of concern to them.”
“You cannot simply be satisfied by winning the votes of people who are older,” he said in a swipe to Joe Biden.
“While our campaign is winning the ideological debate, we are losing the debate over electability,” he continued.
— Matt Margolis 🇺🇸 (@mattmargolis) March 11, 2020
Despite acknowledging this, Sanders declared his intention to stay in the race, saying he’s looking forward to the debate with Joe Biden on Sunday.
“Donald Trump must be defeated, and I will do everything in my power to make sure that happens,” Sanders concluded.
Sanders’ decision to stay in the race will no doubt anger establishment Democrats hoping to declare Joe Biden the undisputed victor. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) had called for the debates to end. Some, however, disagreed. Donna Brazile said on “Fox and Friends” Wednesday morning that she felt the debates “should go on.”
“I think that Sen. Sanders and Vice President Biden should sit down and have a very civil conversation about some of the very big issues facing our country,” she continued. “This not the time to call for the end of the process.”
This story is developing. Stay tuned for updates.