First reported by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, President Obama and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders spoke by phone on Sunday ahead of the Tuesday, June 7 primaries.
The White House refused to reveal specifics of the conversation, but it is widely speculated Mr. Obama phoned Sanders to discuss his primary campaign in an attempt to persuade Vermont’s democratic socialist to drop his bid should Hillary Clinton win in California.
Similarly, it is suspected Mr. Obama sought to intervene on behalf of Clinton to orchestrate an agreement to fuse Mr. Sanders’ progressive bloc with Clinton’s campaign.
NBC's Andrea Mitchell: President Obama and Bernie Sanders talked this weekend
— Jesse Rodriguez (@JesseRodriguez) June 6, 2016
AP reported Monday evening Mrs. Clinton earned 55 delegates from weekend primary wins in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The wins in both U.S. territories, in addition to both her delegates and pledged superdelegates, allowed the former Secretary to reach the required number of votes needed to win the Democratic nomination.
Although Sanders has spurned calls to end his bid and has vowed to remain in the primary race until the July convention, Sanders told reporters Monday he would “assess” the state of his campaign after the conclusion of Tuesday’s nominating contests.
Telling reporters it was premature to discuss the future of his candidacy, Sanders said:
“Let’s assess where we are after tomorrow before we make statements based on speculation. We are speculating before what is in fact the most important primary.”
While Clinton is expected to win New Jersey, all the other Western states voting Tuesday are considered toss-ups, especially in California where Clinton has a slight two-point edge in the polls leading up to the actual vote.
[AP] [The Hill] [Bloomberg] [Photo courtesy dnaindia.com]