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's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet Angst grips America's most liberal city Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Some people say that if maybe that system was not rigged against me, I would have won the nomination and defeated Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement 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 ClintonClintons, Stacey Abrams meeting Texas Democrats Biden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote 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 BidenThe Supreme Court and blind partisanship ended the illusion of independent agencies Missed debt ceiling deadline kicks off high-stakes fight Senate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session MORE, a centrist, and is facing a growing threat for the progressive mantle from Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenCalifornia Democrats warn of low turnout in recall election Pelosi disputes Biden's power to forgive student loans Warren hits the airwaves for Newsom ahead of recall election MORE (D-Mass.).