House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made a rare foray into the Democrat presidential primary, saying she doesn’t think Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) should drop out of the race, despite his dwindling chances of winning the nomination.
“In case you were going to ask, no, I don’t think Bernie Sanders should get out of the race,” Pelosi told reporters during her weekly press conference Thursday.
“I’m a grassroots person,” she added. “I know the enthusiasm of supporters for candidates, and they want to see it play out.”
Her comments come after Sanders vowed Wednesday to remain in the race and debate former Vice President Joe Biden in Phoenix, Arizona, this weekend. He brushed aside calls for him to drop out, despite being routed on Super Tuesday and in the key swing state of Michigan.
“Last night, obviously, was not a good night for our campaign from a delegate point of view,” Sanders acknowledged in a speech at his campaign headquarters in Burlington, Vermont.
However, “while we are currently losing the delegate count” in the primary, “we are strongly winning in two enormously important areas which will determine the future of our country,” he added.
Pelosi’s call for Sanders to stay put place her at odds with House Majority Whip and Biden backer Jim Clyburn (D-SC), who said continuing the race would weaken the former vice president at a time when he needs to be fully focused on defeating President Donald Trump in November.
“It is time for us to shut this primary down, it is time for us to cancel the rest of these debates, because you don’t do anything but get yourself in trouble if you continue in this contest when it’s obvious that the numbers will not shake out for you,” Clyburn said of Sanders in an interview this week with NPR.