Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders announced Wednesday that he has ended his presidential campaign.
Sanders first made the announcement in a call with his campaign staff, his campaign said.
In an address to supporters streamed online, Sanders acknowledged that his campaign had failed to gather enough delegates to catch up to former Vice President Joe Biden.
"I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful, and so today, I'm announcing the suspension of my campaign," Sanders said.
"I know that there may be some in our movement who disagree with this decision, who would like us to fight on until the last ballot cast at the Democratic convention. I understand that position," Sanders said. "But as I see the crisis gripping the nation, exacerbated by a President unwilling or unable to provide any kind of credible leadership, and the work that needs to be done to protect people in this most desperate hour, I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win, and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour."
Sanders said that while his campaign had not been successful in claiming the nomination, they had won the ideological war, as he cited growing support for raising the minimum wage, and other policies he touted like universal healthcare.
"It was not long ago that people considered these ideas radical and fringe," Sanders said. "Today they are mainstream ideas, and many of them are already being implemented."
The move clears the way for former Vice President Joe Biden to win the Democratic nomination and take on President Donald Trump in the general election in November.
Shortly after Sanders delivered his remarks to his supporters, his former rival, Joe Biden, called the Vermont senator a "powerful voice for a fairer and more just America."
"And to (Sanders') supporters I make the same commitment: I see you, I hear you, and I understand the urgency of what it is we have to get done in this country. I hope you will join us. You are more than welcome. You're needed," Biden said."
The firebrand independent senator from Vermont (who caucuses with Democrats) was taking his second swing at the Democratic nomination for president after unsuccessfully running against Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Sanders' career in politics began in 1981 when he was first elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont in by a margin of only ten votes. In 1990, Sanders went on to run for Vermont's House seat in Congress, and won. He represented the state as their congressman until ultimately running for Senate in 2006.
Sanders announced his presidential campaign on February 19, 2019 during an interview with Vermont Public Radio. The self-described Democratic Socialist took to the campaign trail with a wide range of progressive policy positions, including bold action on Climate Change, Medicare-for-all, and a tax system that he called fair, progressive and transparent.
Sanders was hospitalized for a short time during the campaign last year after he suffered a heart attack. Doctors inserted two stents to treat an artery blockage forcing the Vermont Senator to take time off the campaign trail. The heart attack didn't slow the candidate, as he went on to have a packed campaign schedule and appeared at several debates.
This is a breaking news story, more details will be added as they become available.
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