Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has dropped out of the presidential race, making former VP Joe Biden the presumptive nominee, and reducing any pressure to hold primaries in a time of social distancing.
Sanders, who early on was leading the delegate race and looking like the potential candidate, had advocated for a High-Speed Internet for All plan that would accomplish that, by funding government buildouts, regulating commercial broadband rates and breaking up or regulating "internet monopolies."
He also talked about unwinding mergers approved under the present administration, singling out Disney/21st Century Fox.
Sanders, in a live stream from his Vermont home, announced the decision after increasing calls for him to bow out given Biden's delegate lead and the current pandemic. Sanders signaled he could count delegates, too, but used the announcement to pitch his ideas rather than to rally around Biden.
Sanders said the future of the country continues to be with his ideas.
He said he wished he could give his supporters better news, but now 300 delegates behind Biden, his path to the presidency would not be successful. He said if he believed there was a feasible path to the nomination, he would continue.
But he said he would continue to fight for his ideas and for the people hit hardest by the pandemic thanks to the corporate greed that has led to income inequality. He said he would continue to fight for justice. He congratulated Joe Biden, who he called a decent man, but that was the length of his olive branch, at least for now. He also said he would stay on the ballot and try and collect delegates, as many as possible, so he could exert influence over the party platform.
But he made it clear he would help Biden defeat what he called the most dangerous President in modern history. "Please stay in this fight with me. The struggle continues."
The above-mentioned President tweeted following the announcement:
“Senator Sanders is a leader in our country and deserves tremendous credit for pushing our party to more fully embrace the progressive values of economic equality, healthcare for all, climate justice, and an America that works for working class families, not just the wealthy and big corporations," said former candidate Tom Steyer. "His message created a movement of young Americans dedicated to changing our political system for the better, a movement that will long outlast any one candidacy. We need these young Americans, from all walks of life, if we are going to defeat Donald Trump in November."
“Throughout his career, Bernie Sanders has demonstrated the kind of authenticity, clarity and passion that working people need in their leaders," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who campaigned for Sanders.