In a live-streamed speech, the Vermont senator made it clear he is no longer actively challenging Clinton and that the goal is to defeat Trump badly
Bernie Sanders has urged his supporters to look beyond the Democratic presidential nomination in a speech that stopped short of fully endorsing Hillary Clinton but made clear he was no longer actively challenging her candidacy.
In an anticlimatic speech that signaled the effective end of a 14-month campaign odyssey, the Vermont senator insisted his political revolution continues despite Clintons effective victory in the delegate race.
But crucially, he implied he would soon be working with her campaign to help defeat 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 told supporters in a live stream video. And I personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time.
The Vermont senator also thanked his supporters and volunteers, suggesting other ways they could continue to press for the issues that drew them toward his campaign.
Election days come and go but political and social revolutions that attempt to transform our society never end, he said.
Let me conclude by once again thanking everyone who has helped in this campaign in one way or another, he added. We have begun the long and arduous process of transforming America, a fight that will continue tomorrow, next week, next year and into the future.
The somewhat mixed messages of the speech may frustrate some Democrats who had hoped Sanders would swiftly encourage his supporters to back Clinton before the partys national convention.
But the cryptic language may also reflect ongoing negotiations between the two campaigns over which of several demands made by Sanders at a meeting on Tuesday the Clinton team would be willing to accept.
I look forward, in the coming weeks, to continued discussions between the two campaigns to make certain that your voices are heard and that the Democratic party passes the most progressive platform in its history and that Democrats actually fight for that agenda, said Sanders in his speech on Thursday.