In his first interview since losing the New York primary to Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders sets the record straight about calls for him to drop out of the race or "tone down" his rhetoric. First, he will continue fighting until the convention no matter what. Second, if he is going to endorse Hillary at any point down the road, she will have to adopt significant portions of his platform.
"It is not just about me, it has never just been about me," Sanders told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Thursday.
"Well, first of all, I 've got to find out what her platform is," Sanders said about the possibility of an endorsement. "What the views are that she is going to be bringing forth, to what degree she will adopt many of the ideas that I think are extremely popular and I think very sensible."
"It is a two-way street. I want to see the Democratic party have the courage to stand up to big money interests in a way that they have not in the past, take on the drug companies, take on Wall Street, take on the fossil fuel industry, and I want to see them come up with ideas that really do excite working families and young people in this country," Sanders said.
ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC: You will need to win 59% of all of the remaining pledged delegates in order to get that nomination, to have a majority. And if you count the superdelegates, it goes up to 72%. Isn't that unrealistic?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: I's not unrealistic, it's a hard path, I admit that. But I think given the fact that we have now won some 17 states, it is a possibility.
But look, this is not just about me, it never was about me.
It is about bringing millions of people together to demand an agenda which says to the 1% they cannot have it all.
We're going to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. We're going to join the rest of the industrialized world and have health care for all as a right. So the agenda that we're fighting for is attracting millions of people. They have a right to vote for that agenda. They have a right to select who they want to see lead that agenda.
ANDREA MITCHELL: If after June 7th, after California, if you don't have a majority, if she has a majority and more of the popular vote, would you then concede, endorse her the way she did of Barack Obama?
SANDERS: Look, if we do not have a majority, I think it's going to be very hard for us to win. The only fact that I think remains uncertain is if we continue to be running significantly stronger than she is against Donald Trump or whoever the republican nominee will be, I think that's a factor. I think there are a lot of democrats out there who are scared to death, as I am, about the possibility of a Trump presidency. And the Democrats by and large want to see the strongest candidate possible to take on and defeat Trump or some other Republican. At this point according to virtually all of the polls, that candidate is me.
MITCHELL: Now, you can win every delegate race left, including California, and because of her lead you won't have narrowed the gap enough for you to win. Is there any thought that you might get out before the final primaries?
SANDERS: No. I think that every -- the people in every state in this country have a right to vote for the agenda that they want.
MITCHELL: There are Clinton supporters, some of them superdelegates like Ed Rendell, the former governor here in Pennsylvania, who have said it's great that you're running and you shouldn't get out. But that you should tone down the rhetoric. Not be as personal. Keep it on a higher level because you are giving ammunition to the Republicans in case she's the nominee. What's your response to that?
SANDERS: Well, my response to that is I hope Ed is talking to the Clinton campaign who has been saying some very, very nasty things about us. I just saw the other day somebody talking about our fundraising is fraud. We're fraudulent. They have been attacking us pretty hard, so I would hope that democratic leadership would be speaking to the Clinton campaign as well.
MITCHELL: Will you help persuade your young followers, if she wins the nomination, to follow her the way she campaigned for Barack Obama?
SANDERS: Well, first of all, I 've got to find out what her platform is, what the views are that she is going to be bringing forth, to what degree she will adopt many of the ideas that I think are extremely popular and I think very sensible.
But it is a two-way street. I want to see the Democratic party have the courage to stand up to big money interests in a way that they have not in the past, take on the drug companies, take on Wall Street, take on the fossil fuel industry, and I want to see them come up with ideas that really do excite working families and young people in this country.
MITCHELL: At this point could you imagine yourself on a ticket with hillary clinton?
SANDERS: Again, right now I am working really hard this week in Pennsylvania. We're going to go to Rhode Island, we're going to -- five states are up, that's where we're focusing right now, to win as many of these states as we can.