Bernie Sanders suspended his Democratic presidential campaign on Wednesday, effectively ensuring former Vice President Joe Biden will be the party's nominee even as the liberal Vermont senator vowed to continue to lead his "movement" into the future.
The senator, at one point the front-runner for the nomination, initially announced the decision during an all-staff conference call Wednesday morning, and followed up with an address livestreamed to supporters shortly before noon.
Citing Biden’s lead of more than 300 convention delegates, Sanders declared: “The path toward victory is virtually impossible.”
He continued: “I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful. ... I do not make this decision lightly.”
He still claimed a symbolic victory in saying "our movement has won the ideological struggle” -- discussing how core ideas like a $15 minimum wage, health care for all and more have been more widely embraced in the party.
In a curious moment, though, Sanders said that Biden "will be the nominee," yet went on to stress the importance of continuing to win delegates for his own campaign so he'll be able to exert "influence" on the party platform.