Sanders: I hate missing Senate votes

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersAlan Dershowitz: In defense of Chelsea Clinton O'Rourke: Decisions on late-term abortions 'best left to a woman and her doctor' CNN to host town hall with Cory Booker in South Carolina MORE (I-Vt.) says he does not like missing Senate votes due to his 2016 Democratic presidential campaign.

“My job [that] I’m paid to do right now is to represent the people of the state of Vermont in the United States Senate,” he said on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports.”

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“I will miss votes, but I’m trying to miss as few as I possibly can. I am extraordinarily proud to represent my great state in the Senate," Sanders continued.

“We’re working very hard on a number of issues,” he added. "And while it is difficult and very time-consuming to be a full-time candidate and to be a full-time senator, that is at the moment what I’m trying to do.”

Sanders was responding to a question about Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) track record in the Senate.

Rubio, a GOP presidential candidate, has come under bipartisan fire for missing votes for campaign events.

Sanders also discussed his push to catch up with Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton in polls.

Clinton commands a two-to-one lead over Sanders nationwide, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday.

“I think she is ahead in the polls because I think she is much better known than I am,” Sanders said.

“Look, we are taking on the political establishment,” he told Mitchell. "We are taking on the economic establishment.

“We started as an underdog [and] we are still an underdog. The kind of enthusiasm that we are generating tells me that, at the end of the day, we are going to win this election.”

The 2016 Democratic presidential field has narrowed considerably in recent weeks.

Former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee each suspended their campaigns last month.

Vice President Biden, meanwhile, formally ruled out a third Oval Office bid in October after months of speculation.

And Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig ended his Democratic campaign Monday, leaving a remaining field of Clinton, Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.