The Bernie Sanders campaign now has fewer staff workers than it did Tuesday night, when the Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate learned he had lost four of the five Northeastern states voting in primary contests, the New York Times reported. "Hundreds" of Sanders staffers were expected to be affected by the cuts, according to the Times, which interviewed him Wednesday.
Still, Sanders was adamant that the "hundreds" of staff cuts did not constitute the demise of his 2016 presidential aspirations, seemingly dismissing Tuesday's primary results and insisting he and the remainder of his staff are focused on the states still to vote.
“We want to win as many delegates as we can, so we do not need workers now in states around country,” Sanders told the New York Times Wednesday. “We don’t need people right now in Connecticut. That election is over. We don’t need them in Maryland. So what we are going to do is allocate our resources to the 14 contests that remain, and that means that we are going to be cutting back on staff.”
— Jon Sopel (@BBCJonSopel) April 27, 2016
A Sanders spokesman also tried to downplay the staff cuts, explaining them as a natural progression as the primary season winds down.
"We're 80 percent of the way through the caucuses and primaries and we make adjustments as we go along," Michael Briggs, Sanders' campaign communications director, said, Politico reported. "This is a process that we’ve done before of right-sizing the campaign as we move through the calendar."
Sanders' rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, won Tuesday's primary contests in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut and Delaware, adding significantly to her delegate count and all but clinching the nomination. Sanders won just Rhode Island, for which he was awarded 13 delegates to Clinton's 11 in the state.
After her victories were made official Tuesday night, Clinton — likely sensing the end to Sanders' campaign was near — seemed to speak directly to his supporters. She praised Sanders' efforts in "challenging us to get unaccountable money out of our politics and giving greater emphasis to closing the gap of inequality." Knowing she needs his supporters to help her to the White House in the general election, Clinton added: "And I know together we will get that done."
.@WMUR9_Politics - Official statement on staff cuts just out from @BernieSanders camp #fitn #nhpolitics #WMUR
— John DiStaso (@jdistaso) Apr 27 2016