Sen. Bernie Sanders said at the White House on Thursday that he plans to compete in next week's D.C. primary, but he underscored that he "will work as hard as I can" to stop presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump in the general election.
Sanders spoke after he met with President Barack Obama — three days after media outlets determined that Hillary Clinton had enough commitments from delegates to become the Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee and two days after her convincing victories in primaries in California and New Jersey.
Some pundits had speculated that Obama would seek to persuade Sanders to drop out of the race, so the Democratic Party could rally around Clinton in preparation for a general election battle against Trump.
Instead, the Vermont senator implied that he is willing to play ball with the Clinton camp even if he does not become the Democratic nominee.
"Needless to say, I am going to do everything in my power, and I will work as hard as I can, to make sure that Donald Trump does not become president of the United States," Sanders said.
"It is unbelievable to me, and I say this with all sincerity, that the Republicans have a candidate for president who, in the year 2016, makes bigotry and discrimination the cornerstone of his campaign," Sanders said of Trump. "In my view the American people will not vote for or tolerate a candidate who insults Mexicans and Latinos, who insults Muslims, who insults African-Americans and women."
Obama had no public comments immediately after meeting with Sanders but the president endorsed Clinton in a video released later in the afternoon.
"I am with her. I am fired up, and I cannot wait to get out there and campaign for Hillary," Obama said in the video.