Sanders vows to help Clinton beat Trump,
but keeps campaign alive
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[June 17, 2016]
By John Whitesides
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bernie Sanders
promised on Thursday to work with presumptive Democratic presidential
nominee Hillary Clinton to defeat Republican Donald Trump in the Nov. 8
election, but did not formally pull out of the race for the White House.
Sanders did not endorse Clinton during an online speech to his
supporters, but made it clear he was shifting his focus to building
a grassroots movement to fight for his liberal policy agenda and
transform the Democratic Party.
"The major political task that we face in the next five months is to
make certain that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly, and I
personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short
period of time," the U.S. senator from Vermont said.
"I also look forward to working with Secretary Clinton to transform
the Democratic Party so that it becomes a party of working people
and young people, and not just wealthy campaign contributors," he
said in a speech broadcast from his hometown of Burlington, Vermont.
Sanders, who has resisted pressure from Democrats to exit the White
House race and back Clinton since she clinched the party nomination
last week, said he would keep fighting for his goals of reducing
income inequality, removing big money from politics and reining in
"Defeating Donald Trump cannot be our only goal. We must continue
our grassroots efforts to create the America that we know we can
become," he said. "And we must take that energy into the Democratic
National Convention on July 25 in Philadelphia where we will have
more than 1,900 delegates."
Sanders has kept his campaign alive as leverage to force concessions
from Clinton on his policy goals during deliberations on the party's
issues platform, and on the reforms he seeks in the Democratic
Party's nominating process.
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Democratic U.S. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders prepares to
speak for a video to supporters at Polaris Mediaworks in Burlington,
Vermont., U.S., June 16, 2016. REUTERS/Matt McClain/Pool
But he has laid off some staff, stopped campaigning and dropped
plans to court unbound delegates in an unspoken acknowledgment the
former secretary of state will be the nominee.
Sanders, who met with Clinton on Tuesday night after the nominating
process ended, said he would continue his discussions with her
campaign to make certain "the Democratic Party passes the most
progressive platform in its history, and that Democrats actually
fight for that agenda."
"Our vision for the future of this country is not some kind of
fringe idea. It is not a radical idea. It is mainstream. It is what
millions of Americans believe in and want to see happen," Sanders
(Editing by Peter Cooney)
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