Sanders praises Gen Z for being 'profoundly anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic'

Sanders praises Gen Z for being 'profoundly anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders'Medicare for All': The hype v. Maryland's reality Biden says he supports paying campaign staff minimum wage Biden's lead narrows in early voting states: poll MORE (I-Vt.), a 2020 presidential hopeful, praised millennials as being a more accepting generation than those that came before it. 

"What I will say is — and I say this sincerely — is that I think the younger generation today is probably the most progressive young generation in the history of this country," Sanders said in a Teen Vogue interview published Thursday

"This is a generation which is profoundly anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, anti-xenophobic, and anti–religious bigotry. It is a generation of tolerance and decency. And that is no small thing. And that generation should be very proud of who they are."

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Sanders, 77, is the oldest candidate in the crowded Democratic primary field. He faces candidates such as South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegNashville radio host blocked by employer from airing his interview with Buttigieg Buttigieg says white supremacy could be 'issue that ends this country' Biden's lead narrows in early voting states: poll MORE and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardNew CBS poll shows Biden with 7-point lead in New Hampshire Harris voices support for Puerto Rico protesters: 'I stand with them' Democrats slam Puerto Rico governor over 'shameful' comments, back protesters MORE (D-Hawaii) who are nearly four decades younger.

Despite his age, however, Sanders's progressive values and record of voting are more in line with positions supported by younger voters. 

Young voters, especially men, largely make up Sanders's base. 

"Our campaign is about trying to tie all of these movements together and to talk about something that is not much talked about in Congress or the media: The fact that we are becoming an oligarchy," Sanders told Teen Vogue. "What I mean by that is we have a small number of incredibly wealthy people who have extraordinary influence over the economic and political life of this country. That’s the simple reality."

According to a RealClearPolitics average of polling, Sanders ranks second in the field with 15 percent support, trailing former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenUkrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller Time: Dems, GOP ready questions for high-stakes testimony Biden campaign taps foreign policy vet Nicholas Burns as adviser: report MORE by 12 points. 

Sanders is nearly tied with Warren, with 14.4 percent support, and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller Time: Dems, GOP ready questions for high-stakes testimony Biden's lead narrows in early voting states: poll New CBS poll shows Biden with 7-point lead in New Hampshire MORE (D-Calif.), with 14.8 percent support. 

In his Teen Vogue interview, Sanders also commended freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezThe Memo: Trump's risky bid for attention Conservative former NFL player says Trump met with him to discuss 'black America' Louisiana police officer fired after saying on Facebook that Ocasio-Cortez 'needs a round' MORE (D-N.Y.), a millennial lawmaker, who shares much of Sanders' progressive ideals. 

"I am a big fan of Alexandria. I think that she is extraordinarily smart and an excellent congresswoman," he said. "One of the really incredible roles that she is playing is getting young people involved in the political process, which is of enormous consequence."