Top Sanders campaign official: He speaks for 'consciousness of this country'

A top campaign official for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOcasio-Cortez: Sanders' heart attack was a 'gut check' moment Ocasio-Cortez tweets endorsement of Sanders Ocasio-Cortez throws support to Sanders at Queens rally MORE told Hill.TV on Thursday that the Democratic presidential candidate not only has both the right ideas to move the U.S. forward and the courage to carry them out.

“The senator is really speaking to the consciousness of this country,” Nina Turner, co-chairwoman Sanders's presidential campaign, told Hill.TV correspondent Jamal Simmons on Thursday. 

“We need that kind of leader — somebody who not just has the right ideas, but has the courage to carry [them] through,” she added. "The senator, certainly over the years, has proven himself as somebody who will stand up and not capitulate and will be right there for the working people of this country."

Turner’s comments came just hours before the third Democratic debate in Houston.

Sanders will be one of 10 candidates on the stage, along with former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview Yang cautions Democrats: Impeachment might not be 'successful' Ocasio-Cortez: Sanders' heart attack was a 'gut check' moment MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash Ocasio-Cortez: Sanders' heart attack was a 'gut check' moment Ocasio-Cortez tweets endorsement of Sanders MORE (D-Mass.).

All three are atop most national and statewide polls, often with Biden in the lead.

However, a recent HarrisX/No Labels survey found Sanders and Biden in a statistical tie in New Hampshire, a key early voting state.

The survey showed that 21 percent of likely Democratic primary voters supported Sanders, while 22 percent backed Biden, putting the two White House hopefuls within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

—Tess Bonn