U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., suspended his presidential bid on Wednesday, leaving former Vice President Joe Biden as the de facto Democratic nominee who will challenge President Donald Trump in November
While he won the New Hampshire primary and the Nevada caucus and was edged out by former South Bend Mayor Peter Buttigieg in Iowa by the slimmest of margins, Sanders never bounced back after losing to Biden in South Carolina and on Super Tuesday.
With Biden far ahead in the delegate count, Sanders bowed to reality on Wednesday.
“Today I am suspending my campaign. But while the campaign ends, the struggle for justice continues on,” Sanders insisted. “Let us go forward together. The struggle continues.”
Biden quickly moved on Wednesday to reach out to Sanders’ supporters.
“Today, Senator Sanders announced he was suspending his campaign. Bernie has put his heart and soul into not only running for president, but for the causes and issues he has been dedicated to his whole life. So, I know how hard a decision this was for him to make — and how hard it is for the millions of his supporters — especially younger voters — who have been inspired and energized and brought into politics by the progressive agenda he has championed. Bernie has done something rare in politics. He hasn’t just run a political campaign; he’s created a movement. And make no mistake about it, I believe it’s a movement that is as powerful today as it was yesterday. That’s a good thing for our nation and our future,” Biden insisted.
“Senator Sanders and his supporters have changed the dialogue in America. Issues which had been given little attention — or little hope of ever passing — are now at the center of the political debate. Income inequality, universal health care, climate change, free college, relieving students from the crushing debt of student loans. These are just a few of the issues Bernie and his supporters have given life to. And while Bernie and I may not agree on how we might get there, we agree on the ultimate goal for these issues and many more,” Biden added. “But more than any one issue or set of issues, I want to commend Bernie for being a powerful voice for a fairer and more just America. It’s voices like Bernie’s that refuse to allow us to just accept what is — that refuse to accept we can’t change what’s wrong in our nation — that refuse to accept the health and well-being of our fellow citizens and our planet isn’t our responsibility too. 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.
“While the Sanders campaign has been suspended — its impact on this election and on elections to come is far from over. We will address the existential crisis of climate change. We will confront income inequality in our nation. We will make sure healthcare is affordable and accessible to every American. We will make education at our public colleges and universities free. We will ease the burden of student debt. And, most important of all, we will defeat Donald Trump,” Biden continued.
This marks the end of Sanders’ second presidential bid. Sanders ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 but lost out to former U.S. Sec. of State Hillary Clinton. In that campaign, Sanders won more than 20 states and 43 percent of the delegates.
The most prominent socialist in American politics in recent decades, Sanders served as mayor of Burlington, Vermont during the 1980s before being elected to the U.S. House in 1990. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006.