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 Sanders2020 candidates have the chance to embrace smarter education policies Bernie Sanders Adviser talks criminal justice reform proposal, 'Medicare for All' plan Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona 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 ButtigiegPoll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona ABC unveils moderators for third Democratic debate National poll finds tight race between Biden, Sanders and Warren MORE and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardABC unveils moderators for third Democratic debate Lawmakers urge DNC to name Asian American debate moderator The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden expands lead in new national poll 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 BidenSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona Giuliani says he discussed Biden with Ukrainian official MORE by 12 points. 

Sanders is nearly tied with Warren, with 14.4 percent support, and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisPoll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona Rising Warren faces uphill climb with black voters Inslee drops out of 2020 presidential race MORE (D-Calif.), with 14.8 percent support. 

In his Teen Vogue interview, Sanders also commended freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezStudents retreating from politics as campuses become progressive playgrounds Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Poll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas 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."