During a breakfast meeting for the press on Tuesday morning, Bernie Sanders told reporters that he will return to the Senate as an Independent, rather than as a Democrat.
Sanders told reporters:
‘I was elected as an Independent.’
According to Susan Page, Washington bureau chief for USA Today, Sanders told the press he would be working as an independent when he returns to the senate.
Bernie Sanders tells @bpolitics breakfast w/reporters he'll return to the Senate as an Independent, not a Dem: 'I was elected as an Ind.'
— Susan Page (@SusanPage) July 26, 2016
As reported by Bloomberg, Sanders also told the press that he was hopeful that his supporters would accept Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for president.
‘Democracy is a little bit messy sometimes, especially for young people who work their hearts out. They worked against Hillary Clinton and now we’re saying we want you on board to support Hillary Clinton.’
Sanders also indicated that he doesn’t have plans to do any fundraising for Clinton through campaigning or through his organization “Our Revolution.” Sanders noted that Clinton has the ways and means to raise adequate funds and that his efforts were best spent supporting down-ticket progressives.
‘I think we’ll be raising money for some school-board candidate in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who probably does not have the access to money that Hillary Clinton does. Trust me, I’ve seen it in action, she has a pretty good system.’
Sanders says that he believes the majority of his supporters will move on to vote for Hillary Clinton. And despite his ringing and admittedly moving endorsement of Clinton at the convention on Monday night, Sanders still wants to give his delegates a chance to vote for him during the roll call nomination vote on Tuesday. Sanders told the press that he feels that after all their hard work, his delegates have the right to support the candidate of their choice in an official capacity.
‘If you were campaigning for me for six months, or eight months, knocking your brains out and then the roll-call came, who are you going to vote for? You’re going to vote for Bernie Sanders. Of course you are.’
Sanders also told reporters that in the light of the email scandal that resulted from the leak of biased emails from Democratic National Committee leaders, that the Democratic party needs to see vast change:
‘I think we need a DNC that has a very different direction. The Democratic Party has got to be the party of ordinary people.’
Sanders, a long-term Independent, told press that he plans to return to his seat in the senate as an Independent. Sanders has been registered as an Independent since 1979, and only transferred to the Democratic Party last year in order to launch his presidential campaign. Sanders submitted his bid to run in April 2015, and at the time told a Burlington, Vermont newspaper, Seven Days, that he considered himself an Independent who would be working with the Democratic Party.
Sanders’ staff also recently published a press release to his website on July 15, that referred to the Vermont senator as an Independent.
Despite this, Sanders’ direct involvement with the Democratic Party might result in the kind of overhaul that the senator is looking for. Until November, however, the future of the party, and of Bernie Sanders, has yet to unfold.
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