Sanders vows to continue 'revolution,' fight for Dem platform changes

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Bernie Sanders vowed Thursday to fight for "the most progressive platform" in Democratic Party history as well as reforms to the party itself‎, in an online address to supporters in which the presidential candidate made clear he's not dropping out yet -- but is ready to start working with presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton.

The live-streamed address was a chance for Sanders to give his passionate supporters an idea of what comes next, after the primary season ended earlier this week with Clinton having earned more than enough delegates to secure the nomination.

Sanders said the "political revolution" continues but signaled that would revolve around fighting for changes to the party platform and system.

“We must continue our grassroots efforts to create the America that we know we can become,” the Vermont senator said. “And we must take that energy into the Democratic National Convention on July 25 in Philadelphia where we will have more than 1,900 delegates.”

Sanders told his political followers that the major task they face is to "make certain" presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is defeated.

"After centuries of racism, sexism and discrimination of all forms in our country we do not need a major party candidate who makes bigotry the cornerstone of his campaign," Sanders said. "We cannot have a president who insults Mexicans and Latinos, Muslims, women and African-Americans."

He added that he plans to begin his role in that process "in a very short period of time,” but that defeating Trump can’t be the only goal.

In the speech from his Vermont hometown of Burlington, Sanders thanked his supporters for providing more than $200 million in donations, most in increments of $27, and rattled off the work of his loyalists: 1.5 million people who attended his rallies and town meetings and more than 75 million phone calls from volunteers "urging their fellow citizens into action."

The speech — which could be Sanders' final address before the summer convention — was viewed by more than 200,000 people, according to the campaign.

Shortly before he spoke, Sanders' campaign manage Jeff Weaver said in an interview with Bloomberg that while Sanders is still a candidate, the campaign is not making calls to superdelgates.

"We are not currently lobbying superdelegates, we are not," Weaver said.

Courting unbound superdelegates had been the Sanders campaign's only articulated strategy for seizing delegates from Clinton at this stage. Weaver's comments are the clearest signal yet that Sanders is working now to win platform and party changes, and not the nomination, even though he is not suspending his campaign.

In his address Thursday, Sanders said the Democratic Party going forward needs a "50-state strategy" and that party leadership must provide resources to states that in his opinion have been "ignored."

"It means that we can no longer ignore the fact that, sadly, the current Democratic Party leadership has turned its back on dozens of states in this country and has allowed right-wing politicians to win elections in some states with virtually no opposition – including some of the poorest states in America," Sanders said.

Looking ahead to the convention, Sanders said the party must support a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage, pay equity for women, a ban on the sale and distribution of assault weapons and a defeat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

"Most importantly, the Democratic Party needs leadership which is prepared to open its doors and welcome into its ranks working people and young people," he added. "That is the energy that we need to transform the Democratic Party, take on the special interests and transform our country."

Sanders did not endorse Clinton on Thursday night, who defeated him in the Washington, D.C., Democratic primary earlier this week -- marking the end of the presidential primary season and bringing the two candidates together for a face-to-face meeting to discuss what’s next for the party in the general election.

Neither candidate spoke to reporters Tuesday night after their roughly 90-minute meeting in a Washington hotel.

However, the campaigns released separate, but nearly identical statements saying that Clinton and Sanders had a “positive discussion” about their primary race, unifying the party and their mutual desire to stop Trump from winning in November.

The campaigns also said the candidates discussed issues in which they share common goals, including increasing wages for working families, eliminating undisclosed money in politics and reducing the cost of college.

The meeting, which included the candidates' campaign managers, concluded with the sides agreeing to continue to work on a shared agenda that includes developing a platform for the upcoming Democratic National Convention, each campaign said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.