Addressing his supporters via livestream after suspending his campaign, Bernie Sanders congratulated Joe Biden on his presumptive victory in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary while making clear that his fight for progressive ideas will not end with his candidacy.
What he's saying: "While this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us that 'the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.' The fight for justice is what our campaign has been about. The fight for justice is what our movement remains about."
Why it matters: Despite falling short in both 2016 and 2020, Sanders' fight for economic and social justice has indisputably helped push the Democratic Party to the left on a number of issues, including health care.
- Sanders said during the livestream that he'll stay on the ballot in the remaining primary states and continue to gather delegates in order to "exert significant influence" on the party's platform at the Democratic National Convention in August.
- He declined to endorse Biden, but emphasized that after the convention, the party will stand "united" and "go forward to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history."
- "Few would deny over the course of the last five years, our movement has won the ideological struggle. In so-called red states and blue states and purple states, a majority of the American people now understand that we must raise the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour. That we must guarantee health care as a right to all of our people. That we must transform our energy system away from fossil fuel, and a higher education must be available to all regardless of income."
- "It was not long ago people considered these ideas radical and fringe. Today they are mainstream ideas and many of them are already being implemented in cities and states across the country."
- "During the primary elections, exit polls showed in state after state, a strong majority of Democratic primary voters supported a single government health insurance program to replace private insurance. That was true even in states where our campaign did not prevail. And let me just say this, in terms of health care, this current, horrific crisis that we are now in has exposed for all to see how absurd our current employer-based health insurance system is."
- "But 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 mouth a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour."