Comedian Joe Rogan, host of the popular podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience,” said this week that he’ll “probably” vote for Bernie Sanders, praising Sanders for consistency in a clip that was shared on Twitter Thursday by the Vermont Senator’s campaign.
Rogan, who lived in Massachusetts as a young man, discussed his preference in the presidential primary race in a conversation on his podcast with New York Times columnist Bari Weiss.
“I think I’ll probably vote for Bernie,” he told Weiss. “He’s been insanely consistent his entire life. He’s basically been saying the same thing, been for the same thing for his whole life.”
Sanders’ embrace of the apparent endorsement from Rogan drew some backlash among progressives online who pointed to Rogan’s past comments about transgender individuals and his uncritical interviews with controversial figures, including conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
In a statement, a Sanders campaign spokesperson said it was working to build a “big tent” of diverse supporters.
“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,” press secretary Briahna Joy Gray said.
Rogan is undoubtedly an influential figure: His podcast regularly ranks among the most popular on iTunes and he boasts millions of Twitter followers. His following also skews male, reaching a cohort of the electorate that turned away from Democrats in the 2016 election in favor of Donald Trump.
The endorsement came during a critical stretch of the campaign: Iowa holds its caucuses in less than two weeks, while voters in New Hampshire go to the polls Feb. 11. Meanwhile, Sanders and three other Democratic candidates have been forced off the campaign trail this week to participate in Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.