Bernie Sanders said that he is going to vote for Hillary Clinton in the November general election, but stopped short of throwing his full support behind the presumptive Democratic nominee or dropping out of the race.
Sanders, when asked whether he would vote for Clinton in November on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said “Yes,” before pivoting to Donald Trump.
“I think the issue right here is I’m gonna do everything I can to defeat Donald Trump.”
The runner up in the Democratic primary has been reluctant to support Clinton, although he said in an interview earlier this week that it did not appear he would become the Democratic nominee.
And while he says he will vote for her, Sanders remains committed to staying in the race to advocate for progressive reforms on trade, climate change, and universal health care on the Democratic platform.
“My job right now is to fight for the strongest possible platform in the Democrat election,” he said. That would include an agenda to create jobs and raise the minimum wage.
Sanders has said repeatedly since the final primary on June 14 that he will not end his presidential campaign until the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.
On “CBS This Morning,” he said that the reason he has not dropped out or endorsed her is “because I haven’t heard her say the things that I think need to be said.”
Sanders cited tuition-free college, a $15 minimum wage, and health care for all as topics that Clinton still needs to address in order to gain his endorsement.
Clinton earlier this month clinched the delegates required for the Democratic nomination, putting her against Trump in the November general election. Clinton’s campaign has downplayed Sanders’ comments, pointing to other endorsements from Democratic leaders.
“I think that those words matter less than, for instance, the fact that we have earned the endorsement in the last couple weeks of President Obama, Vice President Biden. We’re gonna be campaigning with Senator Warren next Monday,” said Clinton’s press secretary Brian Fallon to CNN.
“So I think you’re seeing all kinds of signs of the party coalescing around Hillary Clinton as the nominee of this party,” Fallon said.
Unlike Warren or Obama, Sanders has yet to agree to campaign with Clinton, instead, he’s campaigned and held rallies with like-minded liberal Democrats running for congressional seats and positions up and down the ballot in November.
Sanders has raised about $2.5 million for congressional and legislative candidates in recent weeks, sending out fundraising emails on behalf of liberals who could further Sanders’ message.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.