Whoopi Goldberg clashes with Bernie Sanders over reluctance to support Hillary in 2016

"The View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg pressed Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on how he planned to achieve victory, worrying that his 2020 campaign was beginning to look like his previous race against Hillary Clinton.

"I've been watching to see what you were going to do," Goldberg told Sanders during Wednesday's show, "and I'm told that you intend to stay in this race for president because you believe there's a path to victory. I want to know what that path is, because this feels a little bit like it did when you didn't come out when Hillary Clinton was clearly the person folks were going for. So, can you explain why you're still in the race and what this path is that you see."

Sanders told Goldberg her statement wasn't quite accurate. "I worked as hard as I could for Hillary Clinton," he said.

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"But Bernie, just so we're clear, you worked for Hillary but it took you a very, very long time to hop in and you're people also, it took a very long time for them to hop in," she said.

Sanders said he didn't "accept that characterization." He added that in a democracy, people had a right to "vote for the agenda that they think can work for America, especially in this very, very difficult moment."

"We are assessing our campaign, as a matter of fact, where we want to go forward, but people in a democracy do have a right to vote," Sanders said.

The exchange took place weeks after Sanders saw substantial losses to former Vice President Joe Biden on Super Tuesday. Sanders indicated on "The View" that he thought that was the result of some of his competitors dropping out of the race. Sanders had won or came in a close second in three of the early primary contests.

After South Carolina's primary, several prominent Democratic candidates -- including former Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. -- endorsed Biden for the Democratic nomination. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., often thought of as closely-aligned with Sanders, didn't drop out until after Super Tuesday.

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Sanders' presence in the race has raised concerns that he will unnecessarily prolong Democratic infighting at a time when the many in the party wanted to focus on beating President Trump.

While Sanders eventually backed his opponent in 2016, he waited until July to endorse Clinton. Before that point, Sanders had picked up a long list of victories in states like Indiana, Michigan, and Minnesota.