“Tonight I tell you with absolute confidence we’re going to win the Democratic nomination,” Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist lawmaker, predicted.
“Tonight I tell you with absolute confidence we’re going to win the Democratic nomination.”
Speaking in his home state of Vermont, after being called the winner there as well as in Colorado and Utah, Sanders exuded confidence even though Biden at the time was the projected winner in eight states, including all five in the South.
One-third of all Democratic convention delegates were up for grabs in Super Tuesday voting, with the biggest potential prizes being in California and Texas.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen later tonight," Sanders said. "We’re doing well in Texas right now. ... I’m cautiously optimistic that later in the evening, we can win the largest state in the country, the state of California.”
Soon after he spoke, Sanders learned he was declared the projected winner in the Golden State.
The expected win in California was significant for Sanders, who was once the longest of longshots when he launched his first White House bid four years ago.
“I am excited about where we are. We have come a long, long way,” he told supporters.
Sanders spent much of his speech drilling Biden, who quickly consolidated much of the establishment and moderate wings of the Democratic Party behind his bid after his crushing defeat of Sanders and the rest of the field in Saturday’s South Carolina primary.
“It is our campaign, our movement, that is best equipped to beat Trump,” Sanders said as he touted his own electability.
He pointed to Biden, who frequently talks about returning the country to the civility of the Obama years after four years of President Trump in the White House.
“You cannot beat Trump with the same old, same old kind of politics," Sanders said. "What we need is a new politics.”
“You cannot beat Trump with the same old, same old kind of politics. What we need is a new politics.”
He also painted contrasts with his rival.
"One of us in this race led the opposition to the war in Iraq. You’re looking at him," Sanders said. "Another candidate voted for the war in Iraq.
“One of us has spent his entire life fighting against cuts in Social Security,” Sanders added. “Another candidate has been on the floor of the Senate calling for cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and veterans funding.
"One of us led the opposition to disastrous trade agreements which cost us millions of good paying jobs -- that’s me," Sanders said. "And another candidate voted for disastrous trade agreements."