Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., got a little testy ahead of the first of two back-to-back debates among Democratic presidential contenders, snapping at a reporter who asked if he had an exit strategy if it looked like he wouldn’t be the party’s nominee.
During remarks to MSNBC reporter Kasie Hunt on “MSNBC Live,” Sanders — who will be in the second night of debates on Thursday — was hit with the question at the end of the interview.
“If it’s clear that you are not going to be the Democratic nominee, will you leave the race before the convention?” Hunt asked.
“I intend to be the Democratic nominee,” Sander cooly responded.
“But if you are not. You stayed in last time and …people say that you hurt Hillary Clinton’s candidacy,” Hunt pressed.
“No, some people say that if maybe that system was not rigged against me I would have won the nomination and defeated Donald Trump,” he shot back. “That’s what some people say. So I think we’re going to play it out.”
“So you would take the risk that you might give Donald Trump an advantage?” Hunt countered.
“Are you asking that of every candidate?” Sanders snapped.
“If it’s clear that you are not going to win the nomination will you concede,” Hunt persisted.
“Right now we are planning to win the Democratic nomination… Our goal right now is to win it. By the way, as you you might know, poll after poll shows me beating Trump by 8, 9 or 10 points. We’re going to beat Trump and win the Democratic nomination.”
Adding her own parting shot, Hunt asked Sanders if he was a Democrat, to which he said: “Of course I’m a Democrat.”
“That’s an easier answer to that question than I feel like we got in 2016,” she said before ending the interview with a curt, “Thank you very much for being here today.”
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