Sanders: ‘It Doesn’t Appear That I’m Going to Be the Nominee’

Vermont independent also discusses his future in the Senate

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said it was a "little bit too early" to say if he would run for re-election to the Senate in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said it was a "little bit too early" to say if he would run for re-election to the Senate in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Posted June 22, 2016 at 3:01pm

Sen. Bernie Sanders acknowledged Wednesday that he will likely not be the Democratic presidential nominee.  

“It doesn’t appear that I’m going to be nominee,” the Vermont indepedent said in an interview with C-SPAN , responding to a question about whether he would speak at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.  

Sanders has pledged to stay in the race  even after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton secured the number of delegates necessary to win the Democratic nomination. But Sanders has also indicated that he wold work to defeat the presumptive Republican nominee, billionaire Donald Trump.  

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Sanders Vows to Help Defeat Trump

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Sanders told C-SPAN that he wants to help change the Democratic Party, particularly the role of superdelegates in the nomination process — party officials and elected leaders who are not bound to a certain candidate but have a vote at the convention.   

“They should reflect votes of people in their states,” Sanders said.  

The Vermont senator also said his staff was negotiating with the Clinton campaign on nearly a daily basis.  

“What we want to do is see Secretary Clinton stake out the most progressive positions that she can on campaign finance reform, on health care, on education, higher education in particular, on the economy and minimum wage,” Sanders said.  

Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat who heads the committee drafting the party platform, said Wednesday the panel could finish a draft by this weekend.  

Sanders also discussed his role in the Senate when he returns from the campaign trail. A number of his colleagues have predicted that he would have more clout in the chamber after his presidential bid that energized thousands of voters.  

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Senate Colleagues Predict More Clout for Sanders

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The Vermont independent, who caucuses with Senate Democrats, is a senior member of the Budget Committee, but told C-SPAN that he would prefer to lead the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee if Democrats win control of the Senate this fall. Washington Sen. Patty Murray is currently the ranking member on that committee.  

“I don’t know what the dynamics now, where Patty may or may not go,” Sanders said. “The Democrats on that committee are pretty progressive and it also deals with the issues that I’ve been involved in my whole life”  

Sanders said it was “a little bit too early” to decide on whether or not he would run for re-election to the Senate in 2018.  

Sanders returned to the Senate this week for the first time since January, to cast his vote on a series of gun control measures following the June 12 mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people.  

Lindsey McPherson contributed to this report.

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