Bernie Sanders suspends presidential campaign


Senator Bernie Sanders has suspended his campaign to become United States (U.S.) president.

The development clears the way for former vice-president Joe Biden to become the Democratic Party’s nominee.

Sanders, 78, told his campaign staff about his decision on a conference call on Wednesday before addressing his supporters online.

A self-described Democratic socialist, Sanders found early success making healthcare and working-class issues a key part of his election platform.

For a long time, the front-runner he has slipped behind Biden in the party’s primaries in recent weeks.

Sanders had pursued the presidential nomination before, losing out in 2016 to Hillary Clinton.

In recent weeks, Sanders had been hosting campaign events through online live streams due to health concerns from the Covid-19 outbreak.

Among the most left-leaning candidates during this year’s election cycle, the Vermont Senator campaigned on policies, including healthcare for all, free public college, raising taxes on the wealthy and increasing minimum wage.

While Sanders saw support from younger voters, he failed to win key African-American voters across the southern states in the Democratic primary elections.

Sanders noted that across the country, his campaign received “a significant majority of the votes…from people not only 30 years or younger, but 50 years or younger”.

“The future of this country is with our ideas.”

Sanders also congratulated Biden, and said that he will work with him to “move our progressive ideas forward”.

Biden tweeted shortly after Sanders’ live stream concluded: “I know Bernie well. He’s a good man, a great leader and one of the most powerful voices for change in our country.”

The former vice-president added in a statement that he was “grateful” to Sanders for putting America’s interest above all else and said he would be reaching out.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, a fellow left-leaning Democrat and former presidential hopeful, also thanked Sanders “for fighting so relentlessly for America’s working families during this campaign”.

In his response, President Donald Trump said Sanders would have won more states if not for Ms Warren’s participation in the primary elections, and suggested the Democratic National Committee did not want him to be the nominee.

“The Bernie people should come to the Republican Party, TRADE!”

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