The 78-year-old US senator from Vermont, a democratic socialist whose progressive agenda pulled the party sharply to the left, shot to an early lead in the Democratic race but faded quickly after losing South Carolina in late February as moderate Democrats consolidated their support behind Biden.
Senator Sanders, a one-time front-runner who promised to lead a grassroots political revolution into the White House, acknowledged he no longer had a path to victory after a string of decisive nomination contest losses to Mr Biden but promised to work with his more moderate former rival to oust Mr Trump.
The independent US senator from Vermont said the coronavirus outbreak, which has taken him off the campaign trail and limited his ability to get his message out, required a broad response and urgent attention in Congress.
“The problem with the word socialism is that very often it gets equated to what’s going on in the Soviet Union — with authoritarianism and totalitarianism and so forth,” he said in the chanty cadence and shouty tone he’d come to be known for.
Today I am suspending my campaign. But while the campaign ends, the struggle for justice continues on. https://t.co/MYc7kt2b16
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 8, 2020
“Do I believe the profit motive is fundamental to human nature? The answer is no. I believe the spirit of cooperation is stronger.”
The departure of Senator Sanders, Mr Biden’s last remaining rival in a field that once included more than two dozen candidates, sets up a long battle for the White House between the 77-year-old Mr Biden and Mr Trump, 73, who is seeking a second four-year term in office.
We know how hard this is. You have put the interest of the nation – and the need to defeat Donald Trump – above all else. And for that we’re grateful. But we want you to know: we’ll be reaching out. You’ll be heard by me. As you say: Not me, Us.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 8, 2020
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