After four primary defeats last Tuesday, Bernie Sanders is laying off hundreds of staffers in what many see as a sign he has conceded the Democratic candidacy to Hillary Clinton. Sanders won the Rhode Island primary, but lost to Clinton in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. 2,383 delegates are needed to win the nomination and Clinton now has 1,662 pledged delegates compared to Sanders’ 1,373.
At an address on Wednesday, Sanders stated his goal as influencing the party, though not as a presidential candidate.
“This campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform that calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage, an end to our disastrous trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health care system, breaking up Wall Street financial institutions, ending fracking in our country, making public colleges and universities tuition free, and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change,” Sanders said.”
His best hope to do so is with a strong victory in California on June 7th.
“Symbolically and in terms of delegates, if we can win the largest state in this country, that will send a real message to the American people and to the delegates that this is a campaign that is moving in the direction it should,” Sanders said.
In a Philadelphia town hall broadcast Monday evening by MSNBC, Sanders stated that if he does not win the candidacy, he will back Clinton.
“I will do everything in my power to make sure that no Republican gets into the White House in this election cycle,” he said.
Clinton, of course, is quite willing to accommodate her opponent in this.
“Whether you support Senator Sanders or you support me, there’s much more that unites us than divides us,” she said in her Philadelphia victory speech.