Sanders: Klobuchar and Buttigieg ended campaigns under 'great deal of pressure' from 'establishment'

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersMcConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by 'downplaying progress' on election security The Hill's Campaign Report: Arizona shifts towards Biden | Biden prepares for drive-in town hall | New Biden ad targets Latino voters Why Democrats must confront extreme left wing incitement to violence MORE (I-Vt.) said Sunday that the "establishment" placed "a great deal of pressure" on Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharEPA delivers win for ethanol industry angered by waivers to refiners It's time for newspapers to stop endorsing presidential candidates Biden marks anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, knocks Trump and McConnell MORE (D-Minn.) and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBogeymen of the far left deserve a place in any Biden administration Overnight Defense: Woodward book causes new firestorm | Book says Trump lashed out at generals, told Woodward about secret weapons system | US withdrawing thousands of troops from Iraq A socially and environmentally just way to fight climate change MORE to exit the presidential race and endorse former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response Biden tells CNN town hall that he has benefited from white privilege MORE.

“The establishment put a great deal of pressure on Pete Buttigieg, on Amy Klobuchar, who ran really aggressive campaigns. Well, I know both of them. They work really, really hard. But suddenly, right before Super Tuesday, they announced their withdrawal,” Sanders said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“If they had not withdrawn from the race before Super Tuesday, which was kind of a surprise to a lot of people, I suspect we would have won in Minnesota, we would have won in Maine, we would have won in Massachusetts. The turnout may have been a little bit different,” he added.

Sanders also addressed Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Don't expect a government check anytime soon No new taxes for the ultra rich — fix bad tax policy instead MORE (D-Mass.) declining to make an endorsement after withdrawing from the race, with NBC’s Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddSunday shows - Trump team defends coronavirus response Strzok: 'I continue to believe that Donald Trump is compromised by the Russians' GOP chair defends Trump messaging on masks: 'To say that he should have known then what we know now isn't really fair' MORE asking him whether he could win the presidential nomination without her support.

“I would certainly love to have the support of Sen. Warren, but yes, of course we can. We can win this because we are going to win the support of working people all over this country who agree with our agenda that, among many other things, the time is long overdue to recognize that health care is a human right in this country, not a privilege. We must pass a 'Medicare for All' single-payer program,” Sanders said.

Sanders also addressed online attacks from his supporters, which Warren described in a recent interview. Sanders has repeatedly condemned such attacks.

“I will not deny for a second that we have some people who claim to be supporters, although I have a hard time understanding why they think they can support me and make vicious personal attacks against people. That's not what our campaign is about,” Sanders said.

The Vermont senator also addressed online harassment of black women affiliated with his campaign. 

"Talk to some of the African American women who are in my campaign about the racist and sexist crap that they have got to deal with," he told Todd. "So it's an ugly world out there."

Hilary Rosen, a surrogate for former Vice President Joe Biden, apologized last week after telling Sanders campaign co-chairwoman Nina Turner she did not have the "standing" to quote Martin Luther King Jr., and MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson was widely criticized in February for calling Sanders’s campaign staff the “island of misfit black girls.”