Bernie Sanders Drops Out of the 2020 Presidential Race

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is suspending his bid for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.

The news of his departure from the race clears the path for former Vice President Joe Biden to win the nomination, and to run against President Donald Trump in November’s general election.

Sanders, in a message to his supporters on social media, thanked those who backed his campaign.

“I want to express to each of you my deep gratitude for helping to create an unprecedented grassroots political campaign that has had a profound impact in changing our nation,” Sanders said.

Sanders, who ran as a self-described democratic socialist, expressed appreciation to volunteers and financial contributors for showing “the world that we can take on a corrupt campaign finance system, and run a major presidential campaign without being dependent upon the wealthy and the powerful.” Sanders also noted the average contribution to his campaign was $18.50 per donation.

The Vermont senator acknowledged the realities of where things were going for him as a candidate in the weeks ahead. “I wish I could give you better news, but I think you know the truth,” Sanders said, adding, “the path towards victory is virtually impossible.”

The decision was “difficult and painful,” Sanders said but also reminded supporters that the movement for which he stood for was not done yet.

While his campaign has been suspended, Sanders announced he plans to remain on future state primary ballots in order to gain delegates at the Democratic National Convention in August and win influence over the party platform.

Sanders also described his opponent, Joe Biden, with whom he disagreed vigorously on a number of subjects during several primary debates, as a “decent man.”

Biden, in a tweet made shortly after Sanders’s announcement, reciprocated with praise for the Vermont senator.

“I know Bernie well. He’s a good man, a great leader, and one of the most powerful voices for change in our country,” Biden said.

In a Medium blog post, Biden elaborated on his thoughts on Sanders’s run.

“Senator Sanders and his supporters have changed the dialogue in America,” Biden wrote. “Issues which had been given little attention — or little hope of ever passing — are now at the center of the political debate. Income inequality, universal health care, climate change, free college, relieving students from the crushing debt of student loans. These are just a few of the issues Bernie and his supporters have given life to.”

Several people on social media shared positive things about Sanders, including presidential candidates who had dropped out of the race before him, and many voices from the left:

Notably, President Donald Trump also weighed in on Sanders’s departure, though his remarks appear to be intended to stoke divisions among Democrats more than acknowledge the contributions of the former candidate.

“This ended just like the Democrats & the DNC wanted, same as the Crooked Hillary fiasco,” Trump wrote. “The Bernie people should come to the Republican Party, TRADE!”