Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont may have lost the party's primary but he is not ready to wave a flag of truce. The senator announced that he would continue to campaign to ensure that his political revolution becomes a tangible part of the Democratic platform (video below).
On June 16, one day after meeting with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her campaign aides, Sanders announced that he would continue his campaign through the Democratic Party Convention in July, TIME reports.
In a video address to his supporters, Sanders signaled that he wants to transform his campaign from a bid for the party nomination to a perpetual political revolution that will lobby for a more progressive party platform.
“Election days come and go,” Sanders said. “But political and social revolutions that attempt to transform our society never end. They continue every day, every week and every month in the fight to create a nation of social and economic justice.
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“That’s what the political revolution is about and that’s why the political revolution must continue into the future,” Sanders added.
The Vermont senator proceeded to list off the policy proposals that he will continue to press for the Democratic party to adopt and commit to enacting, such as raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, opposing trade deals and breaking up the big banks.
Sanders declined to endorse Clinton but vowed to collaborate with her campaign to defeat the presumptive GOP nominee, Donald Trump.
“The major political task that we face in the next five months is to make certain that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly,” Sanders continued. “We cannot have a president who insults Mexicans and Latinos, Muslims, women and African-Americans. And I personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time.”
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Sanders appears to have abandoned all hope of capturing the Democratic presidential nomination and will instead be using the leverage of his pledged delegates and list of dedicated supporters to influence the party platform.
The Vermont Senator concluded that he would spend the weeks leading up to the convention to pressure the Democratic Party to pass “the most progressive platform in its history and that Democrats actually fight for that agenda.”
While Sanders has been consistent in vowing to remain in the race until the party convention, his strategy of spending June and July trying to sway superdelegates to abandon Clinton for his campaign has been dropped.
Sanders' campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, confirmed the shift during an interview with Bloomberg’s “With All Due Respect” on June 16.
“We’re not currently lobbying superdelegates,” Weaver said. “I don’t anticipate that will start anytime soon.”
Sanders campaign insiders told Politico that the Vermont senator has determined that he will only be able to get the policy concessions he wants from Clinton if he remains a running candidate. His supporters believe that this strategy will pay off.
“His leverage comes from his supporters, and so while the prospects [of a victory] at the convention may be lower, I think there’s a whole group of people that Secretary Clinton needs to pay attention to,” said Democratic Party chairman Peter Corroon of Utah, a superdelegate who is pledged to Sanders.
“And if Senator Sanders is asking for something that will help keep them in the fold, then she should listen,” Corroon added.