VIDEO Bernie Sanders drops out of the 2020 race, clearing Joe Biden's path to the Democratic nomination


    Sen. Bernie Sanders ended his presidential campaign on Wednesday, clearing Joe Biden's path to the Democratic nomination and a showdown with President Donald Trump in November.
    Sanders first made the announcement during a call together with his staff, his campaign said.


    "I wish I could offer you better news, but I feel you recognize the reality, which is that we are now some 300 delegates behind vice-chairman Biden, and therefore the path toward victory is virtually impossible," Sanders said during a Livestream after the decision. "So while we are winning the ideological battle and while we are winning the support of numerous children and dealing people throughout the country, I even have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination won't achieve success. then today I'm announcing the suspension of my campaign."
    Sanders' exit caps a shocking reversal of fortune following a robust performance within the first three states that voted in February. The nomination appeared him for the taking until, on the Judgment Day of February, Biden surged to a blowout victory in South Carolina that depart a consolidation of moderate voters round the former vice-chairman. the competition ends now because the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, which halted in-person campaigning for both Sanders and Biden and has led many nations to delay their primary elections. 
    Sanders said he didn't make the choice lightly, describing it as a "very difficult and painful decision."
    "Over the past few weeks Jane and that I, in consultation with top staff, and lots of of our prominent supporters, have made an honest assessment of the prospects for victory. If I believed we had a feasible path to the nomination, I might certainly continue the campaign. But it's just not there," he said.

    Sanders' departure from the race may be a sharp blow to progressives, who rose up during and after the 2016 campaign and commanded the Democratic Party's Trump era debates over issues like health care, global climate change and therefore the effects of growing economic inequality.
    "Few would deny that over the past five years, our movement has won the ideological struggle," Sanders said on Wednesday. "It wasn't way back that folks considered these ideas radical and fringe. Today, they're mainstream ideas. Many of them are already being implemented in cities and states across the country."
    But whilst his policies grew more popular over the years and into the first season, the Vermont senator struggled to broaden his own support and galvanize a winning coalition. Now, as he did after leaving the 2016 primary, Sanders will seek to influence the presumptive nominee through the means he knows best -- from the outside-in. 
    Biden has already made gestures toward Sanders' populist base, which formed a movement over the past five years that would be critical to defeating Trump within the fall. Whether the previous vice chairman will take the required steps to convert the holdouts, and therefore the extent to which Sanders goes to form the case, is going to be a running subplot until polling day. Sanders' decision to stay on the first ballot to amass "as many delegates as possible" as a part of an attempt, he said, "to exert significant influence over the party platform and other functions" at this summer's convention underscores the depth of the divisions both he and Biden still need to bridge.
    Sanders and Biden spoke Wednesday morning, with the Vermont senator telling the previous vice chairman about his decision to finish his presidential campaign, consistent with people conversant in the decision.
    In a statement after Sanders' announcement, Biden called the senator a "powerful voice for a fairer and more just America" and said his campaign's impact on the election is way from over. He also made a particular involve Sanders' supporters to hitch him.
    "And to (Sanders') supporters I make an equivalent commitment: I see you, I hear you, and that I understand the urgency of what it's we've to urge wiped out this country. I hope you'll join us. you're quite welcome. You're needed," Biden said."
    Sanders also acknowledged on Wednesday that a number of his supporters would be disappointed by his exit.
    "I know that there could also be some in our movement who afflict this decision, who would really like us to fight on until the last ballot cast at the Democratic convention. I understand that position," he said. "But as I see the crisis gripping the state, exacerbated by a President unwilling or unable to supply any quite credible leadership, and therefore the work that must be done to guard people during this most desperate hour, I cannot in good conscience still mount a campaign that can't win, and which might interfere with the important work required of all folks during this difficult hour."

    The pivot from four- and five-event days came abruptly last month as Americans attempted to combat the coronavirus by staying, sometimes on state and native leaders' orders, inside their homes.
    The Sanders campaign held its final live public event on March 9, transitioning from packed, raucous rallies to a completely digital operation. He communicated almost exclusively through virtual town halls and live streams focused on the coronavirus crisis -- and the way his progressive agenda, headlined by "Medicare for All," may need to prevent it or helped cushion the blow.
    It was some extent he returned to on Wednesday morning.
    "This current, horrific crisis we are now in has exposed for all to ascertain how absurd our current, employer-based insurance system is," Sanders said. "The current economic downturn we are experiencing has not only led to a huge loss of jobs but has also resulted in many Americans losing their insurance ."
    Even within the end, the message remained an equivalent. For Sanders' supporters, though, the context was jarring.
    Less than two months ago, the Vermont senator appeared poised to run away with the nomination after a robust performance in Iowa and victories in New Hampshire and Nevada, the latter by quite 25 percentage points, on the strength of his popularity with Latino voters, which had been courted relentlessly by his campaign.
    But Sanders' momentum was dashed in South Carolina. Biden routed the sector then cleared it. The anti-Sanders vote rallied around him and, even with Sanders' win in California, put Biden within the driver's seat on Super Tuesday.
    The wind at his back, the previous vice chairman duplicated the feat every week later, delivering the hammer blow in Michigan, a state Sanders won in 2016 and viewed as crucial to his prospects in 2020. each day earlier, public safety measures in response to the coronavirus effectively ended the campaign roadshow.
    Sanders would return to Vermont, where he has spent most of his time since, while Biden found out headquarters reception in Delaware. The Sanders fundraising machine, the foremost successful grassroots donor effort in American political history, was over the last month re-purposed into a feeder for public health groups. 
    Sanders entered the race in February 2019 as an early frontrunner. In an email announcing his second run the presidency, he asked voters to "join me today as a part of an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign which will begin with a minimum of 1,000,000 people from across the country."
    He would quickly hit and surpass that goal and lift, throughout the campaign, extra money from small-dollar donors than any candidate in American political history.
    His status atop the first polls, before Biden came to the competition and claimed the lead, underscored the facility Sanders had built up since beginning his first presidential campaign as a little-known lawmaker from Vermont who freely called himself a democratic socialist.
    By the top of the 2016 race, Sanders emerged together of the foremost influential figures in Democratic politics. His policy agenda -- a set of progressive proposals including Medicare for All, tuition-free public college and therefore the Green New Deal -- set the terms of debate among the 2020 candidates.
    Despite entering with a start on the sector, Sanders' second campaign encountered some early headwinds as Democratic voters sampled a various array of candidates, many of them offering pieces of the progressive vision that Sanders popularized. By the late summer, Sanders seemed to be falling behind fellow progressive Elizabeth Warren, his Senate colleague from Massachusetts. 
    A campaign on its heels would be knocked to the pavement in early October when Sanders had an attack while campaigning in Nevada.
    But what many supporters and staff feared would be the top clothed to be a springboard. Sanders recovered quickly and, before leaving Las Vegas, received a call from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
    The young, progressive star, who had been intensely courted by Warren, told Sanders she was endorsing him. Her early events for Sanders in Iowa were electric, but because the primary heated, her appearances become fewer and further in between -- an early sign of the tactical tensions that might face the left within the coming months.
    Still, for a campaign that had scuffled through the summer and into the autumn, it felt -- a minimum of for that moment in mid-October moment -- as if a switch had been flipped.
    Sanders returned to the trail only a few weeks after falling ill and, after delivering a sterling debate performance in Ohio on October 15, began to climb within the polls.
    Days later, during a packed riverside park in Queens, New York, after being introduced by Ocasio-Cortez and taking the stage to AC/DC's "Back in Black," Sanders addressed one among his largest and most diverse audiences of the campaign.
    "Take a glance around you and find someone you do not know. Maybe, somebody that does not look kinda such as you, somebody who could be of a special religion than you, they are available from a special country," he said.
    Aides who had driven and flown in from around the country looked on, rapt like his supporters, a number of them watching from across the streets after the park hit its capacity.
    "My question now to you is are you willing to fight for that person, who you do not even know," Sanders said, "as very much like you're willing to fight for yourself?"
    The question -- and therefore the call -- would be a centerpiece of his campaign within the weeks and months that followed.
    Ocasio-Cortez, who looked on as he said those words, tweeted in praise of Sanders after the choice was made public.
    "Thank you, Bernie - for doing all of your best to fight for all folks, from the start, for your entire life," she wrote. "Thank you for fighting hard, lonely fights in true devotion to a people's movement within us. many thanks for your leadership, mentorship, and example. We love you." 
    As Biden, within the aftermath of South Carolina, lined up support and endorsements from moderates across the board, Sanders was unable to try to an equivalent with the progressive wing of the party. Warren, buoyed by the late-arriving support of an excellent PAC, stayed within the race through Super Tuesday.
    She dropped out the subsequent Thursday, but despite being so closely aligned with Sanders on policy, she chose to remain on the sidelines rather than putting her support behind his struggling campaign. Though some Sanders' supporters lashed out at Warren for not immediately backing him, the writing had been on the wall.
    The pair had been close, as political figures go, though they took fundamentally different views of the way to win and exert power. But the controversy over whether Sanders told Warren in late 2018 that he didn't believe a lady could win the presidency -- which she confirmed and he denied -- stop meaningful communications between the campaigns.
       In the end, and as many on each side acknowledged privately at the time, it had been already too late.
    Warren on Wednesday tweeted in praise of Sanders and therefore the impact of his two presidential campaigns.
    "Your fight for progressive ideas moved the conversation and charted a path for candidates and activists which will change the course of our country and party," she wrote.
    After losing five of the six contests on March 10, including Michigan, and every one three primaries on St Patrick's Day, Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir signaled the start of the top. Sanders, he said during a statement, "is getting to be having conversations with supporters to assess his campaign," but that "in the immediate term, however, he's focused on the govt response to the coronavirus outbreak."
    Sanders batted away questions on the longer term of his campaign through the latter half March, as his campaign -- except a couple of combative surrogates and staff who continued to batter Biden -- largely retrained its specialize in the coronavirus.
    Asked about his plans during a recent visit to Capitol Hill, Sanders bristled, telling CNN, "I'm handling a f**king global crisis." By then, his Livestream conversations and other campaign-adjacent online events rarely made mention of the first or Biden.
    As Sanders began to make more television appearances after leaving Washington, he became increasingly frank about his chances of winning the nomination.
    "There may be a path, it's admittedly a narrow path," Sanders told "Late Night" host Seth Meyers last week.
    But those acknowledgments were mixed in with public arguments for staying within the race -- and other remarks, harder to discern, that offered some insight into Sanders' own indecision.
    "I mean, right now, under normal times, I would not lecture you from my home," Sanders told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an interview on Friday. "So yes, calculus has absolutely changed. And you recognize, we're lecture tons of individuals, and trying to work out the simplest way forward."
    Toward the top, the questions often seemed to shape the answers. After being pressed by Whoopi Goldberg on "The View" last week over his reasons for remaining within the race, Sanders seemed like he was settling certain an extended haul.
    "Last I heard, people during a democracy have a right to vote," he said, "and they need a right to vote for the agenda that they think can work for America."
    But in his Livestream events, conducted with top aides, advisers, and friends, Sanders was more expansive.
    The pandemic, he argued, had pulled the tide out and revealed within the starkest ways possible the ugliest inequities in American life.
    "I think it's not inappropriate to be trying to ask ourselves, how did we get to where we are today, and perhaps where we would like to travel when all this is often behind us," Sanders said on April 4. "And I feel a number of the questions that we've to ask ourselves, and you've got heard me say this 1,000,000 times, is how does it happen that we are the sole major country on earth to not guarantee health care to all or any people as a person's right?"
    He spoke with former President Barack Obama within a previous couple of weeks as he determined the longer term of his campaign, a source conversant in the conversation tells CNN.
    Obama, throughout the 2020 Democratic primary, had regular conversations with candidates, including before, during and after their respective bids.
    "His private counsel consistently emphasized staying focused on the last word goal: Winning the White House in November," the source conversant in Obama's calls tells CNN. "He was impressed by the caliber of our candidates and therefore the strong campaigns they waged -- but always urged them to stay in mind that we must be well-positioned to unify as a celebration once we have a nominee."
    Five years after Sanders launched a message campaign with the hope of rejuvenating progressive grassroots and keep Hillary Clinton accountable to the Democratic Party's left flank, and then bid touched off a movement that has spawned a replacement generation of leftist leaders, Sanders by the top of his 2020 race had, in some ways, returned to his own beginnings.
    Whether Sanders' decision to leave the competition now, instead of carrying on as he did in 2016 through the top of the first calendar, will earn him some goodwill with the party establishment he fought goodbye and hard to upend, is an open question. An earlier departure won't obscure the ideological divisions that have roiled the party since 2016.
    But the more immediate question facing Sanders, following his departure, and his supporters is whether or not and to what extent they're going to lend their support -- and organizing energy -- to Biden's campaign.
    Sanders has been insistent that he would support the eventual nominee, regardless of who it had been. But his political base -- especially the young, who voted for him by overwhelming margins, and disaffected -- are going to be harder to bring along, regardless of what percentage miles Sanders covers on Biden's behalf.     

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