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 SandersTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Castro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Buttigieg draws fresh scrutiny, attacks in sprint to Iowa 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 ButtigiegCastro hits fundraising threshold for December debate On The Money: Congress races to beat deadline on shutdown | Trump asks Supreme Court to shield financial records from House Democrats | House passes bill to explicitly ban insider trading NYT editorial board calls on Buttigieg to disclose details of work at consulting firm MORE and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardCastro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Saagar Enjeti ponders Hillary Clinton's 2020 plans The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi says House will move forward with impeachment 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 BidenTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Castro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Buttigieg draws fresh scrutiny, attacks in sprint to Iowa MORE by 12 points. 

Sanders is nearly tied with Warren, with 14.4 percent support, and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCastro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Poll: Majority of voters name TV as primary news source Buttigieg: Harris 'deserves to be under anybody's consideration' for vice president MORE (D-Calif.), with 14.8 percent support. 

In his Teen Vogue interview, Sanders also commended freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez on food assistance cuts: 'If this happened then, we might've just starved' Youth climate activists grade top 2020 Democrats on Green New Deal commitment Sanders to join youth climate strikers in Iowa 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."