Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is
facing backlash for promoting a clip of Joe Rogan saying he would
probably vote for Sanders for president.
On his The Joe Rogan Experience
podcast, the mixed martial arts color commentator said that he would
“probably vote” for Sanders in November. The Sanders campaign on
Thursday tweeted out a video of Rogan's support.
A backlash quickly followed over
comments Rogan previously made against gay men and transgender
In a statement, the Sanders campaign
responded to the controversy, citing the need to defeat President
Donald Trump in the upcoming election.
“The goal of our campaign is to build
a multi-racial, multi-generational movement that is large enough to
defeat Donald Trump and the powerful special interests whose greed
and corruption is the root cause of the outrageous inequality in
America,” a spokesperson said in a statement given to the
Blade. “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. The truth is that by standing
together in solidarity, we share the values of love and respect that
will move us in the direction of a more humane, more equal world.”
On Saturday, former Vice President Joe
Biden, who leads in national polls for the Democratic presidential
nomination, appeared to take a swipe at Sanders, saying in a tweet
that “transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time.”
Rogan has repeatedly stated that
transgender women should not compete in sports against other women.
“I say no fucking way. I say if you
had a dick at one point in time, you also have all the bone structure
that comes with having a dick. You have bigger hands. You have bigger
shoulder joints. You're a fucking man. That's a man, OK?” he
said in 2013 about transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox.
He also for years defended the use of
the word “faggot,” claiming that it wasn't a slur to gay men. In
2010, he said he would no longer use the word.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, also criticized Sander's
promotion of Rogan's support.
“Given Rogan’s comments, it is
disappointing that the Sanders campaign has accepted and promoted the
endorsement,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement.
“The Sanders campaign must reconsider this endorsement and the
decision to publicize the views of someone who has consistently
attacked and dehumanized marginalized people.”