MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said that Bernie Sanders' conciliatory-sounding statement Tuesday night showed the Democratic primary race was "effectively over."
Hillary Clinton beat Sanders in four of five states Tuesday night to expand her already wide delegate lead, all but ensuring she will be the Democratic nominee. Sanders won Rhode Island, but Clinton took Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Connecticut.
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In his statement congratulating Clinton, Sanders said he would go all the way to the convention "to fight for a progressive party platform," but added nothing about having a path to clinching the nomination.
Maddow said that she could see people getting "mad at me for saying this," but that it showed Sanders was essentially conceding defeat.
Sanders' statement read in part:
The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as president and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be. That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast.
That is why this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform that calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage, an end to our disastrous trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health care system, breaking up Wall Street financial institutions, ending fracking in our country, making public colleges and universities tuition free and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change.
"The Sanders campaign again committing to not drop out, to stay in the race until the end, but now saying that the reason they will go to the convention is to fight for the platform," Maddow said. "No longer explicitly making that case that they will win at the convention by persuading superdelegates to support Sen. Sanders.
"And I believe, it's fair to say, and I'm sure a lot of people will be mad at me for saying this, but I believe with that statement, it is fair to say that this Democratic contest is effectively over. Even though there will be two people remaining in every contest between now and June 14 in Washington, D.C., this is the Sanders campaign saying they do not have a plan that is a way to win this nomination. They'll keep fighting, but their goal is something different."
Maddow sounded stricken as she said the race had basically come to an end.