Washington: US presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders vowed to keep fighting for the Democratic nomination all the way to the convention in Philadelphia but has kept the door ajar on the possibility of being his current rival Hillary Clinton’s running mate.
“Right now, we are focused on the next five weeks of winning the Democratic nomination. If that does not happen, we are going to fight as hard as we can on the floor of the Democratic convention to make sure that we have a progressive platform that the American people will support,” Sanders told CNN.
Asked if he would accept a hypothetical offer to be Clinton’s running mate, Sanders said he would talk about it with her after the convention in late July. “Then, after that, certainly Secretary Clinton and I can talk and see where we go from there,” the 74-year-old Vermont Senator said.
It is impossible for Sanders to win enough pledged delegates in the remaining contests to secure the Democratic nomination, but it remains possible, if unlikely, that Clinton might not win the 2,383 delegates needed for the nomination either, which would set up a potential convention battle in Philadelphia.
“We’re going to be in this until the last ballot is cast,” Sanders said Friday.
Clinton’s delegate lead relies in part on the help of more than 500 super delegates — state party officials and other elected Democrats who can vote for whoever they want — who support her.
The Clinton campaign and her supporters have struggled to find a successful strategy for pushing Sanders out of the race. Clinton appeared to be gaining momentum after a series of routs in the northeast, including a blowout victory in New York. But Sanders won an upset victory over her in Indiana last Tuesday.
Most recently, Clinton, 68, said she respects Sanders’ decision to finish out the contests.
“I know there are some contests ahead and I respect Senator Sanders and whatever choices he’s making. And I have a lot of empathy about this,” she said last week.
Asked if he would focus his fire on Donald Trump, with the hopes of helping whoever the Democratic nominee is, Sanders said he would focus on both of them. “I will continue to run an issue-oriented campaign,” Sanders said. “Will I be taking on Donald Trump? Absolutely. Will I be discussing the differences of opinion Secretary Clinton and I have? Yes I will.”