Bernie Sanders has promised to stay in the race, even as Hillary Clinton claims the title of presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party.
“Next Tuesday we continue the fight in the last primary in Washington, D.C.,” Sanders said in Santa Monica, California, also saying that he called up Clinton and congratulated her on the victory.
In a statement from the White House, President Obama has agreed to sit down with Sanders, a talk that White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said will be “to continue their conversation about the significant issues at stake in this election that matter most to America’s working families.”
Sanders has no viable path to the nomination, with Clinton securing a majority of pledged delegates and surpassing the required number of all delegates by a wide margin.
The math is not lost on the Vermont Senator, who said that the he was “pretty good at arithmetic” but that he will “continue to fight for every vote and every delegate that we can get.”
The Sanders campaign also hopes to further influence the Democratic party’s platform going forward:
“Sen. Sanders has made it clear he wants to have a strong imprint on the platform,” said a Sanders aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “It is one of the achievements of his campaign, which is already clear by the focus and subject matter the drafting committee is taking up.”
There were already critics calling for him to drop out of the race before the June 7th primaries, but now those voices are getting louder and more frequent.
“He should stand down now. That’s my conclusion,” said Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida. “Democrats will come together after the convention, anyway. But it’s an unnecessary diversion at this point.”
“He has an opportunity to take parts of his movement and what he believed in and see it become part of the Democratic Party mainstream. But the only way he can achieve that is by coming together and supporting Secretary Clinton as the nominee,” said Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey.
“I’d like to see him to do it as early as possible.”
Some Democrats point to Clinton’s own concession in 2008 as an example of how Sanders could handle his own position, for the good of the party.
“If Bernie claims to be a good Democrat, that’s what he would do,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), when asked whether Sanders should concede. “Hillary had to come to the same conclusion eight years ago. So it’s very clear this is how it’s done.”
After losing in California, however, Sanders is making clear that he’s going to stick around until the Democratic convention.
“And then we take our fight for social, economic, racial and environmental justice to Philadelphia,” Sanders said, again promising to bring his movement to the convention floor and potentially dividing the Democratic party.