What Did Bernie Sanders & Barack Obama Talk About At Their Meeting? It Wasn't Enough To Get Sanders To Quit
On Thursday, a closed-door but well-publicized meeting between Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama was held to discuss Democratic Party unity. Following the meeting, Sanders shared just a few remarks with the press, but he stressed that he looked forward to helping Hillary Clinton block Donald Trump from the presidency. "I spoke briefly to Secretary Clinton on Tuesday night, and I congratulated her on her very strong campaign. I look forward to meeting with her in the near future to see how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump," Sanders said.
"Donald Trump would clearly, to my mind and I think the majority of Americans, be a disaster as president of the United States. It is unbelievable to me, and I say this in all sincerity, that the Republican Party would have a candidate for president who in the year 2016 makes bigotry and discrimination the cornerstone of his campaign. In my view, the American people will not vote for or tolerate a candidate who insults Mexicans and Latinos, who insults Muslims, who insults African-Americans and women," Sanders told the press after the meeting concluded. "Needless to say, I am going to do everything in my power and I will work as hard as I can to make sure that Donald Trump does not become president of the United States."
Now that Clinton has passed the necessary delegate threshold for the party's nomination, the question of when exactly Sanders will drop out, or should be expected to drop out, has been contentious. Many wondered if his meeting with the president would nudge him into quitting the race, but Sanders made it clear that he was not dropping out before the Washington, D.C. primary next week. Sanders also said that statehood for D.C. would be a major platform point of his.
Sanders and Obama were both smiling as they exited the White House. The Vermont senator made a point of thanking Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. "What they said in the beginning is that they would not put their thumbs on the scales. And in fact they kept their word, and I appreciate that very, very much," Sanders told the press.
Although Sanders remains in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, many journalists and analysts online took his remarks after the meeting with Obama as a sign that his campaign was winding down. As The Washington Post's Abby Phillip tweeted, "Bernie talking about meeting with Clinton is probably the clearest indication yet that he's preparing to ramp down his campaign."