Obama convinced Bernie Sanders to drop out by arguing that he already succeeded in pushing Biden to the left, new report says

bernie sanders barack obama

Bernie Sanders, left, and Barack Obama, right, speak at the White House in 2016.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

  • Former President Barack Obama convinced Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to abandon the 2020 Democratic presidential race during four lengthy phone calls, according to The New York Times.

  • Two people familiar with the conversations said that Obama told Sanders that he had accomplished what he set out to do — pushing the party to the left.

  • Sanders ended his presidential campaign last week, and went on to endorse frontrunner Joe Biden.

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Former President Barack Obama convinced Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to drop out of the 2020 race over the course of four long conversations, according to a Tuesday report from The New York Times.

The Times reports that when it became clear that his former vice president, Joe Biden, would win the Democratic Party's nomination, Obama told a friend that he needed to "accelerate the endgame."

At the end of March, Obama made the first of four phone calls to the veteran independent senator.

Two people with knowledge of their interactions told the Times that Obama told Sanders that he had succeeded in pushing the Democratic Party and Biden to the left.

Mostly though, Obama listened to Sanders reflect on the campaign and talk about what he planned to do next, the sources said.

Sources close to Sanders said that these calls played an important role in him ending his presidential bid last week and endorsing Biden on Monday. Obama followed suit on Tuesday with his a stirring endorsement of Biden.

Biden is now the presumptive Democratic nominee but won't officially be crowned until the party's convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which has been delayed due to the coronavirus crisis until August at the earliest.

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