What Will Bernie Do?

Sanders defiant after news organizations call race for Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders addresses a crowd estimated at more than 10,000 people during a campaign rally in San Francisco on Monday. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders addresses a crowd estimated at more than 10,000 people during a campaign rally in San Francisco on Monday. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Posted June 7, 2016 at 9:21am

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign criticized the media’s “rush to judgment” in declaring Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton the party’s nominee after news organizations’ delegate counts gave Clinton enough delegates to claim the nomination on the eve of the California primary.  

“It is unfortunate that the media, in a rush to judgement, are ignoring the Democratic National Committee’s clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of superdelegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer,” Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said in a statement.  

Sanders has insisted it is possible for him to win the nomination if he convinces enough superdelegates to join his side and that the nomination should be decided at the Democratic National Convention next month.  

“Our job from now until the convention is to convince those superdelegates that Bernie is by far the strongest candidate against Donald Trump,” Briggs said.  

It is a long shot to expect super delegates to switch sides with Clinton across the threshold and many who are members of Congress say Sanders’s campaign hasn’t reached out to them about switching sides.  

[

Sanders Long-Shot Delegate Hunt

]  

But Briggs pushed back against that notion in an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, saying that the campaign was making phone calls and contacting super delegates. And that “it will evolve” after the California primary on Tuesday and D.C.’s next Tuesday.  

Last week, Roll Call surveyed 17 Democratic senators who represent states Sanders won and asked them if they still support Clinton and if they had heard from the Sanders campaign about switching their votes.  

Twelve responded, all of whom said they’re still with Clinton. Only eight responded to the second question, but each of those senators said they have not heard anything from the Sanders campaign.   

Sanders’ campaign officials did not respond to request for comments on the story.  

Asked by Maddow if he had anything to report on movement, Briggs said that Sanders knows he has an uphill climb, but a mistake “many people have made over the years is to underestimate him.”  

Monday’s news also comes ahead of reports that President Barack Obama might be ready to endorse Clinton as early as this week.   


Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.