Sanders dismisses talk of dropping out as 'absurd'

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders’ brother loses British parliamentary election America’s Eastern European mess 56 memorable moments from a wild presidential race MORE is pushing back on talk, including from President Obama, suggesting that Democrats rally around rival Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump will 'break up the new media conglomerate oligopolies,' camp says Kaine not worried about WikiLeaks Lots of (just) talk about 'draining the swamp' MORE as the likely nominee.

During a television appearance late Thursday, Sanders said while he didn't want to speculate on Obama's remarks, it was "absurd" to think he would drop out of the White House race anytime soon.

"When only half of the American people have participated in the political process, when some of the larger states in this country, people in those states have not yet been able to voice their opinion on who should be the Democratic nominee, I think it's absurd for anybody to suggest that those people not have a right to cast a vote," Sanders told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.

"I am extremely proud that in state after state we are winning the votes of working people," Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, added in the interview. "So to suggest that we don't fight this out to the end would be, I think, a very bad mistake."

Obama urged a closed-door gathering of Democratic donors in Texas last week to rally around Clinton, saying Sanders' campaign is nearing its end point, according to The New York Times.

The president has shied away from directly weighing in on the race to select his predecessor, though he has been perceived as preferring Clinton, who served in his cabinet as secretary of State.

Clinton, who picked up wins in five more states this week, has a big delegate lead, though Sanders has argued he will fair better in states that have yet to vote, including those in the West.

"People want to become engaged in the political process by having a vigorous primary and caucus process," he insisted on MSNBC, suggesting staying in the race would contribute to large Democratic turnout in fall.

"I think we open up the possibility of having a large voter turnout in November and that is exactly what we need. A low voter turnout, somebody like a Trump can win. High voter turnout, the Democratic candidate will win."