Gravel endorses Bernie Sanders after suspending campaign

Former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) has thrown his support behind Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTop Sanders adviser: Warren isn't competing for 'same pool of voters' Eight Democratic presidential hopefuls to appear in CNN climate town hall Top aide Jeff Weaver lays out Sanders's path to victory 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 GabbardNative American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment The US can't seem to live without Afghanistan 2020 Democrats release joint statement ahead of Trump's New Hampshire rally 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 BidenEight Democratic presidential hopefuls to appear in CNN climate town hall Hill Reporter Rafael Bernal: Biden tries to salvage Latino Support Biden, Buttigieg bypassing Democratic delegate meeting: report MORE in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

-- Updated at 11:43 a.m.