"Donald Trump must be defeated, and I will do everything in my power to make sure that happens," Sanders said

By Sean Neumann
March 11, 2020 02:29 PM
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In the wake of another week of disappointing results in the Democratic primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Wednesday he’s looking forward to Sunday’s one-on-one debate between him and his “friend,” former Vice President Joe Biden, who has taken a commanding lead in the race for the party’s presidential nomination.

In a brief speech on Wednesday afternoon, Sanders said that he’ll continue his 2020 presidential campaign despite losing four of the six state primaries held on Tuesday — including the largest, Michigan, where Sanders had won in an upset four years earlier.

With those losses following his lackluster “Super Tuesday” last week, Sanders has fallen even further behind Biden in the primary race.

The 78-year-old progressive lawmaker won North Dakota and holds a slim lead in Washington, where votes were still being counted as of Wednesday afternoon. But the Sanders campaign took another significant blow after Biden won Michigan, as well as Idaho, Mississippi and Missouri. In Michigan and the latter two states, Biden won by significant double-digit margins.

Biden is “doing very well,” Sanders told reporters at a news conference in Burlington, Vermont, on Wednesday, though he said he “strongly” disagreed with the belief that Biden is a more “electable” candidate to beat incumbent President Donald Trump in the November general election.

“Last night obviously was not a good night for our campaign from a delegate point of view,’’ Sanders said.

Biden pushed his lead in the Democratic delegate count to 858-709 as of Wednesday afternoon, with Washington still reporting.

“Tonight we are a step closer to restoring decency, dignity, and honor to the White House,” Biden said in a speech Tuesday night.

A candidate needs at least 1,991 to win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination at the mid-July Democratic National Convention.

The self-described democratic socialist told reporters Wednesday that he’s sticking in the race and will be preparing for the next Democratic debate on Sunday in Phoenix where he’ll likely continue to pressure Biden for answers about Biden’s stances on issues like health care, climate change, criminal justice reform and income inequality.

Sanders listed off facts about those issues during his news conference Wednesday and asked Biden directly: “Joe, what are you going to do?”

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking in Vermont on March 3.
Kate Flock/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Biden’s campaign made a dramatic comeback on the so-called “Super Tuesday” on March 3, winning 10 states on his way to overtaking the delegate lead from Sanders for the first time in the Democratic primary season, highlighting the former vice president’s momentum coming off a decisive victory in South Carolina and a sweeping list of new endorsements in the past two weeks.

After the disappointing showing this Tuesday, Sanders called for his supporters to rally together and come out to vote in the remaining primary states in the final three months of the primary season.

Voters will head to the polls in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio on Tuesday, after Biden and Sanders meet in the debate.

Georgia and Puerto Rico also hold their primary voting later this month.

Sanders remained focused on Wednesday on on defeating Trump in the general election, as well — despite the uphill battle he’s now facing from Biden in the Democratic race.

“Let me conclude the way I began,” Sanders said. “Donald Trump must be defeated, and I will do everything in my power to make sure that happens.”