POLITICS
06/16/2016 09:32 pm ET

Bernie Sanders Vows To Fight Donald Trump, But Won't Quit Democratic Race

The Vermont senator affirms he'll take his campaign to the Democratic National Convention in July.

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Thursday affirmed that he will help presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton defeat Republican Donald Trump, and continued to assert he will take his campaign to the Democratic convention in July.

Sanders, in a video address to supporters, said that he intends to work hard "to make certain that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly." He said he'll continue conversations with the Clinton campaign, after meeting with the former secretary of state on Tuesday.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

"This campaign is about defeating Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for president," Sanders said. "After centuries of racism, sexism and discrimination of all forms in our country, we do not need a major party candidate who makes bigotry the cornerstone of his campaign. 

"We cannot have a president who insults Mexicans and Latinos, Muslims, women and African-Americans. We cannot have a president who, in the midst of so much income and wealth inequality, wants to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the very rich. We cannot have a president who, despite all of the scientific evidence, believes that climate change is a hoax."

Sanders gave no indication of dropping out of the race and endorsing Clinton, and noted that he still has reservations about Clinton and the Democratic Party platform. He urged his supporters to continue their fight "into the Democratic National Convention on July 25 in Philadelphia, where we will have more than 1,900 delegates."

Sanders reiterated the main pillars of his progressive agenda. He also said he wants to work with Clinton "to transform the Democratic Party so that it becomes a party of working people and young people, and not just wealthy campaign contributors: a party that has the courage to take on Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry, the fossil fuel industry and the other powerful special interests that dominate our political and economic life."

Since Clinton clinched the Democratic nomination earlier this month, Sanders has shifted his focus to demanding concessions and reforms in the Democratic Party, some of which were also elements of his insurgent campaign. For example, he doubled down on his suggestion that Democrats adopt a "50-state strategy" to engage states that traditionally do not vote Democratic to expand the party's base.

While party officials have said they want Sanders to exit the race and unite his supporters around Clinton to best fight against Trump in the general election, they also have attempted to assuage tensions between the party and Sanders' campaign. The Democratic National Committee has granted him a greater role in shaping its platform at the convention. And on Monday, Clinton said she “looks forward to the opportunity to discuss how they can advance their shared commitment to a progressive agenda, and work together to stop Donald Trump in the general election.”

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