Gravel endorses Bernie Sanders after suspending campaign

Former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) has thrown his support behind Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks Sanders, Manchin escalate fight over .5T spending bill Sanders blames media for Americans not knowing details of Biden spending plan MORE (I-Vt.) for president days after suspending his own presidential bid. 

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"I am proud and honored to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for the presidency of the United States," the former Alaska senator said in a video posted to Twitter. 

"He will be a great president for all Americans," Gravel added. "We have a simple choice: We can have a democratic socialism of Bernie Sanders to benefit all Americans, or we can have Republican socialism, which benefits the 1 percent and leads us to a constant state of war."

Sanders thanked Gravel for the endorsement in a tweet. 

"Thank you Senator Gravel. Together we will end forever wars, fight for an economy that works for all of us, and bring millions of people into the political process," Sanders said. 

Gravel will also advocate for Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardThe perfect Democratic running mate for DeSantis? Progressives breathe sigh of relief after Afghan withdrawal Hillicon Valley: US has made progress on cyber but more needed, report says | Democrat urges changes for 'problematic' crypto language in infrastructure bill | Facebook may be forced to unwind Giphy acquisition MORE (D-Hawaii), his campaign said in a statement.

In the statement, Gravel said that Gabbard would "be an excellent president of the United States, or vice president, whichever the circumstances permit.” 

Gravel's campaign manager David Oks told The Hill in a statement that the former senator had always planned to end his campaign after the summer debates. 

"Actually contesting primaries and caucuses was never in the plan, as the point of this campaign is to push the party left and advocate against American imperialism and wars," he said. 

Gravel had previously announced he was ending his long-shot presidential campaign and would start a leftist think tank.

“The DNC kept us off the stage tonight even though we qualified, but the #Gravelanche is not over. We're gonna keep going,” Gravel's campaign said in a series of tweets. “As the campaign ends, we're going to help build institutions on the left which can grow power, shape policy, and create strong activists for the long haul.”

Sanders is among the front-runners in the crowded Democratic field. 

The RealClearPolitics average of polls currently has the Vermont senator in second place with 16 percent of the vote, trailing only former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks State school board leaves national association saying they called parents domestic terrorists Sunday shows preview: Supply chain crisis threaten holiday sales; uncertainty over whether US can sustain nationwide downward trend in COVID-19 cases MORE in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

-- Updated at 11:43 a.m.