Sen. Bernie Sanders appears Friday morning on MSNBC.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said for the first time Friday morning that he would vote for rival Hillary Clinton in the November election. But he wasn't quite ready to concede the Democratic presidential primary, nor would he offer a full-throated endorsement of the former secretary of state.
Since losing California to Clinton more than two weeks ago, Sanders has alternately sounded a combative and a conciliatory tone. In a speech Thursday night in New York City called "Where we go from here," he largely avoided mentioning his Democratic rival and pledged to continue fighting for his progressive priorities.
But asked directly Friday morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" whether he would vote for Clinton this fall, Sanders provided an unambiguous response.
"Yes," he said. "Yeah, 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 the country if he were to be elected president," he continued, calling the presumptive Republican nominee a bigot and arguing that he is "not somebody who should become president."
Sanders said he was "pretty good at arithmetic" and acknowledged that Clinton had more pledged delegates and superdelegates than he did. Asked why he wouldn't therefore drop out of the race, he said, "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."
The senator was scheduled to deliver another speech late Friday morning in Albany and then to campaign for congressional candidate Eric Kingson in Syracuse.