‘Struggle continues’: Sanders vows to stop Trump, defies dropout bets

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (L), Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. © Reuters
Widely expected to bow out of the presidential race on Thursday, Bernie Sanders instead stood fast to the issues that drove his underdog campaign, vowing to fight on. He has also pledged to “work tirelessly” to keep Donald Trump from the White House.

Defeating Trump now seems to be topping Sanders’ list of priorities as he said he intends to do everything in his power to make sure that the presumptive Republican nominee does not become president in November.

“I'll run around the entire country if I have to,” Sanders told the cheering crowd at his rally in New York City. “It is hard to imagine a man who has such limited capabilities becoming president.”

The Vermont senator has virtually called Trump out for undermining America’s hundreds-years-long fights against racism and sexism.

“[What] this guy is making a cornerstone of his campaign is bigotry, is insulting Mexicans, insulting Latinos, insulting Muslims, insulting women, insulting African-Americans,” Sanders said. Along with that, he stressed Trump’s de facto leadership of the so-called “birther movement” aimed at delegitimizing the presidency of Barack Obama, “the first African-American ever to hold that position.”

"We have got to work tirelessly to make sure Donald Trump is not president,” Sanders said.

READ MORE: Feel The Donald?: Trump appeals to Bernie supporters in anti-Clinton speech

While still a Democratic candidate, Sanders said: “This campaign is not only about defeating Trump.”

In his lengthy “Where We Go From Here” speech, he once again highlighted key issues that have been driving his crusade in the battle for the White House, occasionally putting him neck-and-neck with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Sanders made Americans’ well-being a centerpiece of his speech, paying significant attention to underpaid workers, homeless children and affordable social programs, such as free education and housing for people in need.

"We cannot allow ourselves to become used to the fact that we have hundreds of thousands of children in this country who are homeless," he said to cheers. 

Sanders has stressed the importance of healthcare, saying: "We must never ever lose the vision that healthcare is a right of all people.”

Criticizing the unemployment rate across the US, he also vowed to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour and create more jobs as a way to “rebuild our crumbling infrastructure."

The key to “transforming America,” Sanders said, is to “take on” Wall Street and its “illegal behavior.”

As the nation remains divided on gun control a week after a massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which left 49 dead and 53 injured, Sanders promised to “take on the NRA,” referring to the National Rifle Association, a pro-gun membership group with a prominent lobbying arm.

“We are going to fight to make certain to ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons, that we end the gun show loophole and expand instant background checks,” he said.

Touching on other issues of his campaign, Sanders spoke about climate change and fracking, saying the US should have banned the process of hydraulic fracturing “yesterday.”

Wrapping up his nearly two-hour speech, Sanders, despite wide expectations, exclaimed that “the struggle continues.”

He will continue his two-day New York tour in Syracuse, where he is set to support progressive congressional candidate Eric Kingson.

"We're going to go all over this country because that is what the political revolution is about," he said, vaguely outlining his plans to go to California. "It is millions of people getting involved in the political process in a way that has never been seen in the modern history of this country."