Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke with former President Barack Obama before he suspended his campaign on Wednesday.
CNN reported that the Vermont senator was in contact with Obama over the past few weeks. A source said that they spoke multiple times before Sanders made the announcement that he would no longer pursue his candidacy to be the Democratic nominee for president.
Joe Biden, Obama’s former vice president, is now the presumptive nominee.
“His private counsel consistently emphasized staying focused on the ultimate goal: Winning the White House in November,” the source told CNN.
Obama was said to be impressed by the array of candidates, including several of color, who chose to run during the current election cycle. However, 44 “urged them to keep in mind that we must be well-positioned to unify as a party once we have a nominee.”
The source added that both Sanders and Obama were in agreement that defeating Trump in November was paramount. After Sanders came to the conclusion that he would not be the party’s standard-bearer, he ended his race in a call to his staff and then informed supporters via a Livestream.
“I wish I could give you better news, but I think you know the truth, and that is that we are now some 300 delegates behind Vice President Biden, and the path toward victory is virtually impossible,” Sanders said.
“So while we are winning the ideological battle and while we are winning the support of so many young people and working people throughout the country, I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful. And so today I am announcing the suspension of my campaign.”
Today I am suspending my campaign. But while the campaign ends, the struggle for justice continues on. https://t.co/MYc7kt2b16
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 8, 2020
Sanders was on the cusp of winning the nomination after performing strongly in the early primaries and caucuses in February. However, Biden’s win in South Carolina, fueled by Black voters, upended the race later that month. The former V.P. went on to rout Sanders on Super Tuesday as moderate candidates who had dropped out rallied behind him.
Biden has since earned 1,196 delegates while Sanders has 883. 1,991 delegates are needed to win the nomination.