Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign on April 8, acknowledging that former Vice President Joe Biden is the likely Democratic nominee. But Sanders said his name will remain on the ballot in the remaining primary races, and that he would like to get as many delegates as he can “so that we have a stronger position at the Democratic convention to help us shape the new platform of the Democratic Party.”
JUDY WOODRUFF, PBS NEWSHOUR: Senator, I think that — I was just going to say, I think the numbers show you didn’t do as well with young people as you had in 2016.
But what I want to ask you about is, you are supporting — at least you acknowledge Joe Biden will be the nominee, and yet you’re going to compete against him in the primaries to come. What is the value of that?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): No, we’re not competing against — we don’t — there’s no active campaigning. There’s nothing to compete about. Joe Biden will, everything being equal, be the nominee.
But I think our — my name will be on the ballot. That’s the way it is in all of the remaining states that hold primaries. We would like to get as many delegates as we can, so that we have a stronger position at the Democratic Convention to help us shape the new platform of the Democratic Party and the other issues that the DNC deals with.
WOODRUFF: You say you want to shape the platform, and yet, I think, it appears, from the many last conventions, it’s what the nominee wants that ultimately matters.
And, right now, Joe Biden has moved in your direction. He’s talked about lowering the age for Medicare eligibility to 60. He’s talked about making free college tuition more available.
But, at the same time, he has not endorsed Medicare for all. Senator Sherrod Brown, liberal Democrat, was on the show two nights ago, said he doesn’t think that Joe Biden is going to do that. Is that sufficient for you?
SANDERS: Well, look, Judy, what I said on the very first day that I began my campaign, I said that, if I lose, I will be there to support the Democratic winner, the nominee, the person who wins the nomination, because I think that Donald Trump is the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country.
And we all have got to rally around the winner to defeat Trump. And that’s certainly what I will do. But I hope, in the coming weeks and months, I will be working and my staff will be working with Joe Biden and his team in making the point that, if Joe is going to do well against Trump and is going to defeat Trump, then he is going to have to reach out effectively to a whole lot of people where he has not had the kind of support that he needs.
And that’s lower-income people. That is younger people. And he’s going to have to give those people the understanding that he hears them and he’s moving to respond to their concerns. And that deals with climate change. It deals with making public colleges and universities tuition-free.
In my view, it deals with — you’re right. He is not going to support Medicare for all, but I think there is a significant path forward for him to make sure that, when so many people are losing their private insurance, that the federal government will be there for them to cover their health care needs.