- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 25, 2020

Sen. Bernie Sanders faced pressure Saturday from progressive group MoveOn to apologize for his Democratic presidential campaign embracing the support of podcast host Joe Rogan.

MoveOn issued a statement urging Mr. Sanders, Vermont independent, to distance his 2020 campaign from Mr. Rogan, a comedian and host of the popular “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast.

“It’s one thing for Joe Rogan to endorse a candidate. It’s another for @BernieSanders’ campaign to produce a video bolstering the endorsement of someone known for promoting transphobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, racism and misogyny,” MoveOn said on Twitter.

“We urge Sen. Sanders and his campaign to apologize and stop elevating this endorsement. We stand in solidarity with folks hurt by this,” MoveOn tweeted.

Mr. Rogan, 52, recently said he would “probably vote for Bernie” in the Democratic primary, and Mr. Sanders and his campaign subsequently circulated a video touting his support.

“He’s been insanely consistent his entire life. He’s basically been saying the same thing, been for the same thing his whole life. And that in and of itself is a very powerful structure to operate from,” Mr. Rogan said in a clip shared by Mr. Sanders on social media Wednesday.

Supporters of Mr. Sanders critical of Mr. Rogan, whose podcasts boasts an audience of millions, have since cited several past comments the comedian has made about African Americans and the transgender community, among other marginalized groups, and have complained about the senator championing his support and urged him to reverse course.

Briahna Joy Gray, the national press secretary for the Sanders campaign, responded to the criticism Friday as the outrage surrounding Mr. Rogan’s support swelled on social media.

“Sharing a big tent requires including those who do not share every one of our beliefs, while always making clear that we will never compromise our values,” she said in a statement.

The Sanders campaign did not immediately return a message seeking its reaction to MoveOn’s request.

Mr. Sanders appeared on the “Joe Rogan Experience” last year. So did fellow Democratic presidential candidates including Andrew Yang and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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