Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday officially conceded the Democratic presidential primary to former Vice President Joe Biden but said he will still stay on the ballot and continue to gather delegates through the party's convention.
After suspending his campaign for president, Sanders addressed supporters in a live stream, describing his decision to exit as "very difficult and painful." But he admitted it has become "virtually impossible" for him to win the Democratic nomination and he "cannot in good conscience continue" running, especially in light of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
"If I believed that we had a feasible path to the nomination, I would certainly continue the campaign, but it's just not there," Sanders said.
Sanders also congratulated Biden, who is now the only Democratic candidate left in the race, describing him as a "very decent man." At the same time, Sanders said he will remain on the ballot in all remaining states and not stop gathering 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," Sanders said.
Biden in a lengthy statement on Wednesday praised Sanders and told his supporters, "I see you, I hear you. and I understand the urgency of what it is we have to get done in this country. I hope you will join us." Brendan Morrow
Sanders says he will stay on the ballot in remaining primary states so that he can keep winning delegates, in hopes of exerting "significant influence" on the Democratic Party platform