Sen. Bernie Sanders declined Friday to say whether he’ll make another White House run but made clear that he’ll continue to focus on the sweeping, political issues that were the cornerstones of his failed 2016 bid.
“Four years is a long time off from now," the former Democratic presidential candidate said on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher, one day after frontrunner Hillary Clinton accepted the party’s presidential nomination at its convention in Philadelphia.
"Whatever my political future may or may not be, I will be fighting as hard as I can to stand up for a declining middle class to take on the grotesque levels of income and wealth and equality that we are seeing right now,” he said, according to AOL.com, “to demand that the United States join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all people as a right, to make public colleges and universities in this country tuition-free. Those are issues that we've got to continue the fight for."
The 74-year-old Sanders would have been the oldest elected president had he won in November, and he’ll be 79 in November 2020.
Still, Sanders continues to have a devoted, passionate following.
Even hours after Clinton accepted the nomination, Sanders supporters continued to protest and chant outside the convention that the Democratic National Committee had “rigged” the primary for Clinton and tried to crash the security gates.
Sanders, who switched from Independent to Democrat for his 2016 White House bid, also said this week that he’ll seek reelection in 2018 for his Vermont Senate seat and that he’ll run as an Independent.
Despite Sanders having a diehard following, their long-term support already appears in doubt. Many backers in Philadelphia had already turned their support to third party candidate Jill Stein, in a last ditch effort to keep Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump out of the White House.
“It’s always been about the movement,” Quintin Lynch, a Democratic activist from Oregon, told FoxNews.com. “Bernie was a leader, not the leader.”