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Bernie Sanders said at a press conference Wednesday that he will not suspend his presidential campaign after a second consecutive week of bruising primary losses to Joe Biden, telling reporters that he looks forward to Sunday's one-on-one debate.

Why it matters: Sanders' path to the nomination narrowed significantly after Biden built up his delegate lead in most of the states that voted Tuesday — including the key prize of Michigan, where Sanders' surprise win over Hillary Clinton in 2016 gave him a needed boost of momentum.

What he's saying: "What became even more apparent yesterday is that while we are currently losing the delegate count — approximately 800 delegates for Joe Biden and 660 for us — we are strongly winning in two enormously important areas which will determine the future of our country," Sanders said.

  • "Poll after poll, including exit polls, show that a strong majority of the American people support our progressive agenda."
  • "We are winning the generational debate. While Joe Biden continues to do very well with older Americans, especially those people over 65, our campaign continues to win the vast majority of the votes of younger people."

Between the lines: Sanders could have gone scorched earth on Biden — and he still could at Sunday's debate — but instead he took a more measured tone as part of a clear strategy to pressure Biden to adopt more progressive policies and language.

  • Sanders said Sunday's debate will show voters which candidate is best positioned to beat Trump — but we’ve seen throughout this cycle how debates don’t really change the standings of the race, and it's especially unlikely to happen this late in the primary.
  • It's more likely that Sanders will use the debate as a last push to define the policy parameters of the race.

The big picture: Sanders is facing calls to drop out from some prominent members of the Democratic Party who believe it's time to pivot to defeating President Trump in the general election.

  • House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Tuesday that the Democratic National Committee should "step in" and cancel the debate now that Biden is the "prohibitive favorite" to win the nomination.
  • James Carville said on MSNBC: "Let's shut this puppy down. ... This thing is decided."
  • David Axelrod on CNN: "You’re gonna see enormous pressure from all elements of the party to yield to the results that we now can see."

Go deeper

13 mins ago - World

Jamal Khashoggi murder suspect arrested in Paris

A person holding a candle and a picture of journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a vigil outside of the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

A suspected member of the hit squad that murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in 2018 was arrested at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris on Tuesday, according to AP.

Why it matters: Khalid Aedh Al-Otaibi — who is one of several people sanctioned by the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries over Khashoggi's murder — was trying to board a flight to Riyadh and is now being held on an arrest warrant from Turkey, AP reports, citing a French judicial official.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Americans shrug off Omicron, Axios-Ipsos poll finds — CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise."
  2. Vaccines: Omicron gives a shot to boosters — U.S. announces $400M for global COVID vaccine distribution — Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down.
  3. States: Gov. Hochul will order some NY hospitals to halt elective surgeries — Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers.
  4. World: EU drug regulator backs mixing COVID vaccines — Poor global equity likely in COVID pill access — CDC raises travel advisories for France, Portugal to highest level amid COVID surge.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Mark Meadows will stop cooperating with Jan. 6 panel, attorney says

Photo: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will no longer cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, his attorney told Fox News Tuesday.

Why it matters: Meadows, who failed to appear before the panel last month, is believed to have insight into former President Trump's role in efforts to stop the certification of President Biden's election win.