January 27, 2016 1:59 PM EST
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders walks with his wife to speak to reporters after a meeting with President Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C., Jan. 27, 2016.
Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images

Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders said he met with President Obama at the White House on Wednesday for a discussion to “get himself updated” on current events, but the Vermont senator told reporters that he did not use the meeting as an opportunity to get an endorsement.

“Of course not,” Sanders said, when asked if he had sought the President’s support during their meeting. “I think [the President] and the vice-President have tried to be fair and even-handed in the process and I expect they will continue to be that way.”

Sanders said he and the President discussed a range of issues during their private sit down in the Oval Office and talked “a little bit of politics” ahead of the primary voting season. The Vermont senator also said he spoke with Obama about the war on ISIS, the approach to which he called a major difference between himself and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Sanders stressed that he hoped to emulated President Obama’s ability to promote high turnout in the upcoming Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. “We are right now, as everybody knows, in a very tough campaign in Iowa and going on to New Hampshire,” Sanders said. “I think what the Iowa campaign ends up being about is one word and that is turnout.”

“I’m not saying we can do what Barack Obama did in 2008, I wish we could but I don’t think we can. If there is a large turnout I think we win,” Sanders said. If not? “I think we’re going to be struggling,” the senator admitted, but said he still would continue to fight on in New Hampshire and elsewhere even if his showing in Iowa is poor. Sanders added that he believes his campaign will do “a lot lot better” in South Carolina and Nevada, two states where Hillary Clinton appears to have an advantage, than many are currently predicting.

At the White House press briefing on Wednesday, Press Secretary Josh Earnest reiterated that the President isn’t quite ready to endorse a candidate.

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