Bernie Sanders skirts question about a second presidential bid on 'Real Time With Bill Maher'

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Bernie Sanders Backs Hillary Clinton

Senator Bernie Sanders seemingly dismissed the idea of running for president next election cycle when he appeared (via satellite) on the season 14 premiere of Real Time With Bill Maher, which aired Friday.

The Vermont senator had given a rousing speech in support of once-rival and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention just days prior.

When host Bill Maher told Sanders that he was perfectly capable of a second presidential bid, Sanders said, "I mean, thank you very much, but four years is a long time off from now."

He told the studio audience that though a presidency may not be in his near future, he intends to run for re-election for the Senate when his term in Vermont ends in two years.

"Whatever my political future may or may not be, I will be fighting as hard as I can to stand up for a declining middle class to take on the grotesque levels of income and wealth and equality that we are seeing right now, to demand that the United States join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all people as a right, to make public colleges and universities in this country tuition-free," Sanders added. "Those are issues that we've got to continue the fight for."

Read More: Bernie Sanders Delivers Rousing Speech at Democratic Convention: "I'm Proud to Stand With Her"

Sanders also shared his thoughts on the DNC, which concluded Thursday, saying the biggest takeaway was "the understanding that Donald Trump is the most dangerous presidential candidate in the modern history of this country and that he must be defeated."

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Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders stand together during a campaign rally where Sanders endorsed Clinton in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, U.S., July 12, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder - TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
LAS VEGAS, NV - October 13: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton pictured at the 2015 CNN Democratic Presidential Debate at Wynn Resort in Las Vegas, NV on October 13, 2015. Credit: Erik Kabik Photography/ MediaPunch/IPX
Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, left, and Hillary Rodham Clinton laugh during the CNN Democratic presidential debate Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., center, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, talk backstage before the start of the Iowa Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Bernie Sanders, left, offers an apology to Hillary Clinton during a Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton and Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. speak during a break at the NBC, YouTube Democratic presidential debate at the Gaillard Center, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, reacts to Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton's answer to a question during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by MSNBC at the University of New Hampshire Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, in Durham, N.H. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, left, and Hillary Clinton take the stage before a Democratic presidential primary debate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)
Democratic presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, shake hands before the start of the Univision, Washington Post Democratic presidential debate at Miami-Dade College, Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in Miami, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-V.t, right, speaks as Hillary Clinton listens during the CNN Democratic Presidential Primary Debate at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on Thursday, April 14, 2016 in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens as Sen.Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. speaks during a rally in Portsmouth, N.H., Tuesday, July 12, 2016, where Sanders endorsed Clinton. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

He admitted that despite disagreements he and Clinton have on a "number of issues," he would fully support her in her new position as president.

"What I intend to do the day after Hillary Clinton is elected president of the United States is to do everything I can to make sure that she goes forward as progressively as she can," he said, "maintaining the very strong Democratic progressive platform that we pass together."

Before Sanders' presidential campaign declined and he endorsed Hillary Clinton, Maher penned an essay for The Hollywood Reporter in which he wrote that Sanders was "as real as real gets."

"He is putting on the table something we've never seen before: the idea that America could be more like a Western European democracy, quasi-socialist (we're that already, of course, with Social Security, Medicare and farm subsidies) where you pay more in taxes, but you get more: free health care and free college," Maher wrote.

Former congressman Barney Frank, Alex Wagner, Matt Welch and Dr. Cornel West were also guests on Friday's premiere episode.

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