Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Biden: We will fix nation's problems Left doubles down on aggressive strategy MORE on Monday rejected the suggestion his campaign is tapping into the same voter frustration as GOP front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMcCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Biden's Supreme Court reform study panel notes 'considerable' risks to court expansion Bennie Thompson not ruling out subpoenaing Trump MORE.
"No, I don't accept that for one moment," the Independent Vermont senator said on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports" when asked if he was tapping into the same "anger" against Washington that is fueling Trump's campaign.
"We are not engaged here in demagoguery. We’re not engaged in racist attacks, outrageous attacks against Mexicans. What we are trying to do is talk about the reality facing the American people and come up with real concrete solutions," Sanders continued.
Sanders and Trump were both considered long shots when they launched their bids earlier this year for the 2016 Democratic and Republican presidential nominations.
But both have performed exceedingly well in recent polls: Trump is leading the 17 person GOP field by double digits and Sanders has cut into the lead of longtime Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
These non-establishment candidates are outperforming expectations at a time when U.S. voters are largely fed up with the way things are going in the country. A Quinnipiac University survey released Monday found that 71 percent of American voters are dissatisfied, with a plurality "very dissatisfied."
"Donald Trump is a very strong TV personality. He's very good at what he does. He's funny. He's articulate," Sanders said on MSNBC.
"But I think, at the end of the day, when people focus on the kinds of programs we need, the fact that we need a mass political movement, we don't need one person at the top, we need millions of people — young people, working people, seniors — coming together to reclaim our government. I think when that happens I think you'll find that Bernie Sanders does increasingly well."
Sanders also said that he is ready for any attacks from Clinton after cutting into her lead in recent polling of early-voting states Iowa and New Hampshire.
"I don't know where it's going to come from," the self-proclaimed democratic socialist acknowledged on MSNBC, suggesting he has "[taken] on the entire establishment."
"[We'll] be attacked by the drug companies. We're going to be attacked by corporate America. When you take on the establishment, you anticipate those attacks. We're waiting for it; we know it will happen," Sanders said.
Sanders refused numerous attempts throughout the interview to weigh in on Clinton, her candidacy and her use of a private email server while secretary of State, insisting he was focused on "the real issues."
"This campaign that I am running, let me reiterate, is not against Hillary Clinton or anybody else. It is for an American people who are sick and tired of seeing the middle class disappear and huge numbers of people living in poverty," he said.