Why Hillary Clinton won't ask Bernie Sanders to get out tonight

Story highlights

  • Clinton will not put overt pressure on Sanders to quit the race
  • But Clinton allies will remind Sanders that she conceded when she was in a similar position in 2008

New York (CNN)Hillary Clinton and her many surrogates who will be blanketing TV tonight will not call on Bernie Sanders to get out of the race, according to aides and talking points distributed by the campaign.

Clinton, as she has been doing, will extend an olive branch to the Vermont senator's supporters, hoping that doing so will make uniting the party easier in the coming weeks. What's more, the campaign feels wins in California and New Jersey would put all the necessary pressure on Sanders to get out on his own, meaning a push from Clinton wouldn't be necessary or helpful.
    Clinton has tried this before.
    After winning the Pennsylvania primary on April 26, Clinton took the stage in Philadelphia and commended Sanders.
    "I applaud Sen. Sanders and his millions of supporters for challenging us to get unaccountable money out of our politics and giving greater emphasis to closing the gap of inequality," Clinton said. "And I know together, we will get that done. Because whether you support Sen. Sanders or you support me, there's much more that unites us than divides us."
    So far, in the heat of what has become a contentious primary campaign, the olive branches have not been well-received.
    Attendees at Sanders' events throughout California in May and June have chanted "Bernie or Bust," a slogan that means those voters will support Sanders and no one else.
    "If Bernie Sanders does not walk out of that thing as the nominee, we can guarantee you from that point on we'll start the de-registration of the Democratic Party. They have a choice to make," Gary Frazier, a leader of a group called Black Men for Bernie, told CNN's Jeff Zeleny earlier this month.
    The Clinton campaign is watching Sanders' campaign closely, though, including TV hits where top aides decry news organizations for calling the race before California and pledge to continue to fight all the way to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
    "If there is a large voter turnout, if working people and young people come out in big numbers and demand change, we are going to win big tomorrow," Sanders said on Monday night in San Francisco. "If we can win here in California, South Dakota, North Dakota, New Jersey, we're going to go into that convention with enormous momentum."
    Top Clinton aides expect Sanders to take a few days after California to evaluate his campaign and what he does next. And they have been encouraged by the fact he has said he will do everything he can to make sure Donald Trump is not president.
    Surrogates, in a not-so-subtle message to Sanders, though, have been instructed by the campaign to retell the story of how Clinton endorsed Barack Obama after their contentious contest in 2008.
    Clinton herself did this on Monday in Los Angeles.
    "Tomorrow is eight years to the day after I withdrew and endorsed then-senator Obama," Clinton said. "I believed it was the right thing to do no matter what differences we had in our long campaign, they paled in comparison to the differences we had with the Republicans and that is actually even more true today."