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Joe Biden isn’t worried about disappointed Bernie Sanders supporters not voting for him in the general election.
“If I’m the nominee, I’m confident Bernie will push his supporters to support me, just as I would if it were reversed,” the former vice president told donors late Thursday. “He’s poured his heart and soul into this. He’s made some significant changes in American politics that have been positive.”
Biden is the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee with 1,196 pledged delegates to Sanders’s 883, though primary contests that would have helped the two-term vice president reach the 1,991 threshold have been pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the delegate deficiency, Sanders touts the “movement” he’s created behind his campaign, saying he can bring new voters into the Democratic Party’s coalition.
Yet in 2016, many in the Vermont senator’s base were reticent to support Hillary Clinton after a bitter primary fight.
Biden said Thursday his goal was to unite the party and country to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak together, also vowing to roll back all Trump administration regulations and executive orders that harm the environment and consumer rights.
“Someone was joking with me saying, ‘You still have time to drop out because you’ll inherit one ungodly mess.’ The next president will inherit a country that’s divided and an international community that’s not at ease at all,” he said.
On a more serious note, Biden, a third-time candidate, added he wouldn’t pressure Sanders to drop out of the Democratic race for the White House.
“I have significant respect for Sen. Sanders and his supporters. Now’s not the time for me or anyone to call for him to drop out. I know firsthand what a personal decision that is,” he continued.