Bernie Sanders calls for Democratic Party transformation
NEW YORK — Bernie Sanders was back on the presidential campaign trail Thursday evening, imploring his supporters to continue his “political revolution” — even though he has recently acknowledged that he is unlikely to be the Democratic presidential nominee.
Sanders laid forth his vision of the country, but instead of pinning success on future primary dates or fundraising goals like he did just a few weeks ago in California, the Vermont senator spoke in broad terms about his ideal America and Democratic Party.
“The main point I’m going to make tonight, and I’m going to make it over and over again: It’s not about Bernie Sanders,” the Vermont senator said in his speech, entitled, “Where We Go from Here.” “”It’s about you and millions of other people. What the political revolution means is that you are the revolutionaries. And that is what this campaign has shown.”
Since Hillary Clinton emerged as the presumptive Democratic nominee earlier this month, Sanders has slowly eased into a public admission that his bid for president is nearly over. Last week, he pledged to help Clinton defeat Donald Trump in the general election, and on Wednesday, he told C-SPAN, “It doesn’t appear that I’m going to be the nominee.”
Lately, he’s communicated his top priorities for next month’s Democratic National Convention and the party’s platform, while not shying away from his criticism of the party.
On Thursday evening, Sanders specifically pointed to platform committee points such as a ban on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, an end to closed primaries and a ban on the sale and distribution of assault weapons.
He added, “While we’re at it, we may as well transform the entire Democratic Party. What that means is forcing open the door for ordinary people, for working people, for young people.” The audience at the Town Hall Theater leapt to its feet in agreement.
Sanders did not mention Clinton’s name during his speech — though his supporters occasionally shouted “F— Hillary” throughout his remarks — but he did not miss an opportunity to hit Trump.