Bernie Sanders on Thursday pledged to work with Hillary Clinton to defeat Donald Trump, yet promised to compete in next week’s Washington, DC, primary and to take the issues he has championed to the Democratic National Convention.
After meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, Sanders said he will “of course” be competing in next week’s DC contest.
“This is the last primary of the Democratic primary process,” the Vermont senator said. “The major point I will be making to the citizens of the District of Columbia is that I am strongly in favor of DC statehood. The state of Vermont, which I represent, has about the same number of residents as Washington, DC, has, except we have two United States senators and one congressman with full rights while DC does not.”
Sanders also said he looks forward to the “full counting” of votes from Tuesday’s California primary, which he said he suspects “will show a much closer vote than the current vote tally” between Clinton and himself.
After Tuesday’s wave of primaries, Clinton well surpassed the total number of delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination and become the presumptive nominee. However, some of those needed to reach the total are superdelegates, who do not vote until the July convention. Sanders has previously pledged to take the fight to the convention floor in hopes that superdelegates will switch over to his camp.
However, in his Thursday remarks, Sanders began to signal – ever so slightly – that his exit from the race could be forthcoming.
“I spoke briefly to Secretary Clinton on Tuesday night, and I congratulated her on her very strong campaign,” he said. “I look forward to meeting with her in the near future to see how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump and to create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1%.”
Sanders also took aim at presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump during his speech, saying it would be a “disaster” should he win the presidency.
Donald Trump would clearly – to my mind and, I think, the majority of Americans – would be a disaster as president of the United States. It is unbelievable to me, and I say this with all sincerity, that the Republican Party would have a candidate for president who in the year 2016 makes bigotry and discrimination the cornerstone of his campaign. In my view, the American people will not vote for and tolerate a candidate who insults Mexicans and Latinos, who insults Muslims, who insults African Americans and women. Needless to say, I am going to do everything in my power, and I will work as hard as I can, to make sure that Donald Trump does not become president of the United States.
Watch Sanders’ remarks below: