Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has still not conceded the race to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, acknowledged he would be short in the delegate count.
Sanders also, however, said he would vote for Clinton this fall over presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump given those are the two options.
Partial transcript as follows:
NICOLLE WALLACE: Turning back to — to our country’s broiling politics, are you going to vote for Hillary Clinton in November?
SANDERS: Yes, yes, I think the issue right here is I’m going to do everything I can to defeat Donald Trump. I think Trump in so many ways will be a disaster for this country, if he were to be elected president.
We do not need a president whose cornerstone of his campaign is — is bigotry, is insulting Mexicans, and Latinos, and Muslims and women; who does not believe in the reality of climate change when virtually every scientist who has studied this issue understands we have a global crisis. This is not somebody who should become president.
What my job right now is is to fight for the strongest possible platform in the Democratic convention and as we speak in St. Louis, that’s going on right now. And that means a platform that represents working people that stands up to big money interests and that’s what we’re trying to do.
WALLACE: So your vote will be a vote for Hillary Clinton or against Donald Trump?
SANDERS: Well, look, I don’t want to parse words right now. What I am trying to do right now is to make sure that the Democratic Party becomes the party that represents working people, not Wall Street, that is prepared…
WALLACE: So is it…
SANDERS: … that is prepared to have an agenda that speaks to the need of creating millions of jobs, raising the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour, dealing with climate change, dealing with pay equity. Those are the issues that we need to have not only in a platform, but we need Democratic leadership to be implemented.
WILLIE GEIST: So Senator, just to put a button on this, you said, you’ll vote for Hillary Clinton, which means you won’t vote for yourself. Have you accepted now that you won’t be the nominee?
SANDERS: I’m pretty good at arithmetic, and what I know is that Hillary Clinton has more pledged delegates than I do, and she has a lot more super-delegates than I do.
But what I also know is we’re bringing 1,900 delegates into the convention, that we have received 13 million votes and that what I am going to be doing right now, and I’m starting this afternoon, heading to Syracuse for an event this evening, is we are — we are going to be urging millions of people to get involved in the political process.
You may recall last week I did a speech on the Internet, and I said, get involved and — and run for school board, run for city council, run for state legislation. You know how many people responded? 20,000 people. So, what we want to do is reinvigorate the Democratic Party, bring new blood in and have a party that represents working people.
GEIST: So if you — if you — Senator, if you’ve accepted the arithmetic of — of the race and you realize that she’s likely to become the nominee, why not withdraw from the race?
SANDERS: Why would I want to do that when I want to fight to make sure that we have the best platform that we possibly can, that we win the most delegates that we can and that we transform — the goal of our campaign was to transform this nation.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor