The morning following the earth-shattering news that Britain had voted to leave the European Union, pushing global markets into a panic, independent Vermont Senator and still-active Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders showed up in studio for a live interview on Morning Joe. What normally would have been a pretty big deal seemed like almost a distraction considering the story going on across the Atlantic.
While Sanders touched on Brexit a bit during his interview, claiming Britons chose Leave due to a rigged global economy (natch), the conversation eventually turned to the Democratic primary and Hillary Clinton. Even though Clinton clinched the nomination more than two weeks ago, Sanders has refused to concede and hasn’t offered his endorsement of Clinton. Until Friday morning…sort of.
When asked point blank if he was going to vote for Hillary in November, Bernie nonchalantly said “yes,” pointing out that “the issue right here is I’m going to do everything I can to defeat Donald Trump.”
He then explained why he believes Trump is unfit to be president and why he needs to work with Clinton and Democrats to defeat him:
“I think Trump in so many ways will be a disaster for this country if he were to be elected president. We do not need a president whose cornerstone of his campaign is bigotry, is insulting Mexicans and Latinos and Muslims and women, who does not believe in the reality of climate change when virtually every scientist who has studied this issue understands that we have a global crisis. This is not somebody who should become president.”
Sanders appeared on a couple of other morning shows and expanded on the reasons why he hasn’t formally endorsed Clinton yet. Basically, it was him going down his laundry list of policy proposals that he’s to the left of Hillary on currently. You know, $15 minimum wage, free tuition, Medicare for all, etc. Essentially, he wants her to embrace those policies more passionately before he fully comes out for her.
He also noted during an appearance on CBS This Morning that he understands he isn’t going to be the nominee and that he doesn’t harbor any allusions that he can try to contest the convention, pointing to the basic math.
“I’m pretty good at arithmetic and what I know is that Hillary Clinton has more pledged delegates than I do, and she has a lot more superdelegates than I do. But what I also know is we’re bringing 1,900 delegates into the convention, that we have received 13 million votes…Why would I wanna do that when I wanna fight to make sure that we have the best platform that we possibly can, that we win the most delegates that we can and that we transform — the goal of our campaign was to transform this nation.
What I am trying to do right now is to make sure that the Democratic Party becomes the party that represents working people, not Wall Street, that is prepared to have an agenda that speaks to the need of creating millions of jobs, raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour, dealing with climate change, dealing with pay equity. Those are the issues that we need to have not only in the platform, but we need Democratic leadership to be implemented.”
In the end, though, he still said he isn’t suspending his campaign because he feels he owes it to his supporters to fight for his vision, and he wants to continue to push the Democratic Party in a progressive direction.
In the end, while he’ll point out that this wasn’t an official endorsement, and he hasn’t conceded, by him saying he’s voting for Hillary, he has endorsed her. Likewise, he has conceded without officially doing so, as he’s acknowledged he isn’t going to win. We can go through all levels of semantics, but in the end, he’s supporting Hillary Clinton for President and he’s no longer a candidate.
Below is video of the MSNBC segment:
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) June 24, 2016