(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) dropped out of the Democratic presidential race on Wednesday and acknowledged former Vice President Joe Biden as the presumptive Democratic nominee.
“I wish I could give you better news, but I think you know the truth, and that is that we are 300 delegates behind Vice President Biden, and the path toward victory is virtually impossible. So, while we are winning the ideological battle, and while we are winning the support of so many young people and working people throughout the country, I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful,” he said.
“So, today, I am announcing the suspension of my campaign. Please know that I do not make this decision lightly. In fact, it has been a very difficult and painful decision,” the senator said, adding that his wife, top staff and prominent supporters “made an honest assessment of the prospect of victory.”
“If I believed we had a feasible path to the nomination, I would certainly continue this campaign, but it's just not there. I know that there may be some in our movement to disagree with this decision, who would like us to fight on to the Democratic convention,” Sanders said. “I understand that position.”
“As I see the crisis gripping the nation, exacerbated by a president unwilling or unable to provide any kind of credible leadership, and the work that needs to be done to protect people in this most desperate hour, I cannot, in good conscience, continue to mount a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour,” the senator said.
Sanders said that he will stay on the ballot in the remaining states that have yet to hold an election, and his campaign will “continue to gather delegates.”
“While Vice President Biden will be the nominee, we must continue working to assemble as many delegates as possible at the Democratic convention where we will be able to exert significant influence over the party platform and other functions,” he said.
Biden issued a statement in response to Sanders’ decision to suspend his campaign, tweeting:
“I know Bernie well. He’s a good man, a great leader, and one of the most powerful voices for change in our country. And it’s hard to sum up his contributions to our politics in one, single tweet. So I won’t try to.
“To Bernie and Jane, as friends, from Jill and me: You haven’t just run a political campaign; you’ve created a movement. And make no mistake about it, we believe it’s a movement that is as powerful today as it was yesterday. That’s a good thing for our nation and our future.
We know how hard this is. You have put the interest of the nation – and the need to defeat Donald Trump – above all else. And for that we’re grateful. But we want you to know: we’ll be reaching out. You’ll be heard by me. As you say: Not me, Us.
And to Bernie’s supporters: I know that I need to earn your votes. And I know that might take time. But I want you to know that I see you, I hear you, and I understand the urgency of this moment. I hope you'll join us. You're more than welcome: You're needed.
Together we will defeat Donald Trump. But we will also address the climate crisis. We will make college affordable. And we will make health care available to all. We will not just rebuild this nation – we’ll transform it. And I’m asking you to join me.