Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) suspended his presidential bid Wednesday, clearing the way for former Vice President Joe Biden to win the Democratic party nomination.
In a speech streamed live on YouTube, Sanders thanked his campaign volunteers, the two million Americans who contributed financially, and the supporters who attended his rallies across the nation.
“I can’t imagine that any candidate has ever been blessed with a stronger and more dedicated group of people who have taken our message to every part of this country,” Sanders said.
He added that his campaign took the country “a major step forward” in the fight for “economic justice, social justice, racial justice and environmental justice.”
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Later, Sanders talked about the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump’s shortcomings, the nation’s current economic crisis, and he called on Congress to protect working families “not just powerful special interests.”
Near the end of his speech, Sanders admitted that he had fallen too far behind Biden in the delegate count and “the path toward victory is virtually impossible.”
While the senator said he knew his supporters would be disappointed, and some would disagree with his decision to drop out, he congratulated Biden and called him “a very decent man.”
Sanders then urged supporters to continue to fight for a nation that “lifts up all of our people” and said, “the struggle continues.”
Sanders’ departure from the race is a setback for progressives, who commanded the Democratic party’s attention in the 2016 and 2020 campaigns, and pushed Democrats to focus more attention on health care, climate change and income inequality.
Early in the 2020 campaign season, Sanders appeared on track to lead the race but he began to lose momentum after the South Carolina primary as Biden surged.