Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said he would work with former Vice President Joe Biden to defeat Trump but stopped short of a full endorsement.
Sanders announced on Wednesday that he would suspend his campaign but remain on the ballot in the remaining states in hopes of accruing more delegates to influence the Democratic Party platform.
"Few will deny that over the course of the past five years, our movement has won the ideological struggle. A majority of the American people now understand that we must raise the minimum wage . . . and guarantee health care," Sanders said. "It was not long ago that people considered these ideas radical and fringe. Today, these are mainstream ideas already being implemented around the country. That is what we have accomplished together."
But Sanders said he saw no path to victory.
"If I believed we had a feasible path to the nomination, I would certainly continue the campaign," he said. But "as I see the crisis gripping the nation . . . I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win."
"I congratulate Joe Biden, a very decent man, who I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward," he added.
Bernie stops short of endorsement:
“It’s no great secret that Joe Biden’s politics are different than mine, but I have known Joe since I came to the Senate in 2006, worked with him when he was vice president in the Obama administration,” Sanders later told Stephen Colbert. “And what I would say to people is that Joe is a very decent human being. I know his wife Jill, as well, as a wonderful person.
“And I hope to be able to work with Joe to move him in a more progressive direction. And I think Joe is a good politician and he understands that in order to defeat the president, in order to defeat Trump, he’s going to have to bring new people into his political world, and that he’s going to have to listen to their needs. Young people, working people. And maybe start moving in a different direction to some degree than he has in the past. “
When Colbert asked if he was giving Biden a “full throated endorsement,” Sanders demurred.
“We’re going to be talking to Joe, and we are, and we’re talking to his team of advisers. But what I have said, I can tell you this, Stephen, what I said from the first day that I announced my intention to run for president, I will do everything that I can to make sure that Donald Trump is not re-elected,” he said.
Biden issues pleas to Sanders’ young supporters:
Biden, now the Democratic presumptive nominee, praised Sanders for building a movement while issuing an appeal to his supportrs.
"To your supporters, I make the same commitment: I see you, I hear you and I understand the urgency of what it is we have to get done in this country. I hope you will join us. You are more than welcome. You're needed," he said. "Together, we will defeat Donald Trump. And when we do that, we'll not only do the hard work of rebuilding this nation — we'll transform it."