After Clinton sweep, Sanders shifts emphasis from winning to setting policy
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After Clinton sweep, Sanders shifts emphasis from winning to setting policy

Losing 4 out of 5 northeastern primaries, Vermont senator seems to accept that his rival is unbeatable in race for Democratic nomination

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses the crowd during a campaign rally at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena, in Huntington, West Virginia, April 26, 2016 . (John Sommers II/Getty Images/AFP)
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses the crowd during a campaign rally at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena, in Huntington, West Virginia, April 26, 2016 . (John Sommers II/Getty Images/AFP)

Democrat presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared to throw in the towel on Tuesday night after he lost four out of five northeastern state primaries to rival Hillary Clinton, putting out a statement that focused on “the fight for a progressive party platform,” but no longer mentioned securing the party’s nomination as presidential candidate.

“I congratulate Secretary Clinton on her victories tonight, and I look forward to issue-oriented campaigns in the 14 contests to come,” Sanders said after Clinton won in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Delaware.

“I am proud that we were able to win a resounding victory tonight in Rhode Island, the one state with an open primary where independents had a say in the outcome,” he continued in the statement which was published on his campaign website.

“Democrats should recognize that the ticket with the best chance of winning this November must attract support from independents as well as Democrats. I am proud of my campaign’s record in that regard.”

“The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as president and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be. That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast. That is why this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform.”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses supporters during a primary night event on April 26, 2016 in Philadelphia after winning the Pennsilvania state primary. (AFP PHOTO / EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses supporters during a primary night event on April 26, 2016 in Philadelphia after winning the Pennsilvania state primary. (AFP PHOTO / EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ)

Following her success on Tuesday, Clinton is now fewer than 300 delegates away from clinching the Democratic nomination. She can reach that goal by winning just 21 percent of the remaining delegates and the uncommitted superdelegates, the latter being party insiders who can back the candidate of their choice.

Among Democrats, Clinton has 2,137 delegates to Sanders’ 1,306. Those totals include both pledged delegates from primaries and caucuses and superdelegates. It takes 2,383 to win the Democratic nomination. Sanders would need to win 73% of the remaining delegates to win the nomination.

Meanwhile, Republican front-runner Donald Trump on Tuesday night advised Sanders to make an independent bid for the presidency, a move he threatened to do himself if he felt he had been unfairly treated by the Republican party.

Donald J. Trump encourages Bernie Sanders to run as an independent candidate.

Posted by POLITICO on Tuesday, 26 April 2016

“Today you probably saw that the Democrats have treated Bernie very badly and frankly I think he should run as an independent,” Trump said.

During an interview with the The Hill last July, Trump said “The RNC [Republican National Committee] has not been supportive. They were always supportive when I was a contributor. I was their fair-haired boy.”

When asked if he would consider running as an independent Trump responded: “I’ll have to see how I’m being treated by the Republicans. Absolutely, if they’re not fair, that would be a factor.”

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