Bernie Sanders won't commit to leaving the race if he fails to secure the Democratic nomination

Bernie Sanders won't commit to leaving the race if he fails to secure the Democratic nomination
© Greg Nash

White House hopeful Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Biden allies: Warren is taking a bite out of his electability argument Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul MORE (I-Vt.) declined to commit to exit the presidential primary race before the Democratic convention if he fails to win the party’s nomination.

“I intend to be the Democratic nominee,” he said on MSNBC Wednesday.

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“Some people say that if maybe that system was not rigged against me, I would have won the nomination and defeated Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE. That’s what some people say. So I think we’re going to play it out,” he added. “So our goal right now is to win it, and by the way, as you may know, poll after poll shows what against Trump? It shows me beating Trump by 8, 9, or 10 points. We’re going to beat Trump, we’re going to win the Democratic nomination. “

Sanders faced widespread criticism from across the party after the 2016 race that his insistence on carrying out his campaign through the Democratic National Convention even after it became clear he had fallen short of the necessary delegates to win the nomination forced Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonQueer Marine veteran launches House bid after incumbent California Rep. Susan Davis announces retirement Poll: Trump neck and neck with top 2020 Democrats in Florida Former immigration judge fined, temporarily banned from federal service for promoting Clinton policies MORE to continue battling an intraparty dispute and hurt her standing in the general contest against Donald Trump.

He has long railed against the Democratic National Committee for overseeing what he slammed as a “rigged” nominating process that favored Clinton over his insurgent progressive campaign. While hacked emails revealed a preference among top party officials for Clinton over Sanders, no steps were made to materialize those desires. 

The Vermont Independent went on to withhold his endorsement for Clinton until the middle of July 2016 and then went on a campaign stretch for her that critics said was half-hearted. 

Sanders has emerged as a top-tier candidate in the crowded 2020 primary field, though has consistently polled behind former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Biden allies: Warren is taking a bite out of his electability argument Budowsky: Donald, Boris, Bibi — The right in retreat MORE, a centrist, and is facing a growing threat for the progressive mantle from Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Defense bill talks set to start amid wall fight Biden allies: Warren is taking a bite out of his electability argument MORE (D-Mass.).