Bernie Sanders blasted for touting support from anti-trans comedian Joe Rogan
US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is facing intense ire after accepting endorsement from comedian Joe Rogan, whose track record of anti-LGBT comments is pronounced.
The Vermont senator is vying for the top White House seat in a cluttered field of blue tie candidates in the run up to the primaries, at a time where endorsements from particular people and groups can make or break crucial campaigning.
But LGBT+ groups are calling for Sanders to “reconsider” the support from Rogan, calling for the lawmaker to disavow the endorsement.
The host of The Joe Rogan Experience is against trans women competing in sports alongside cisgender women, has objected to life-saving puberty blockers for trans youth and once called trans athlete Fallon Fox “a f***ing man”.
Joe Rogan: ‘I think I’ll probably vote for Bernie.’
On Thursday, Sanders sounded out about Rogan’s intention to vote for him in the Democratic presidential primary.
Rogan brought up his voting intentions on January 20, when asked by author Bari Weiss.
“I think I'll probably vote for Bernie… 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.” -Joe Rogan pic.twitter.com/fuQP0KwGGI
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 23, 2020
“I think I’ll probably vote for Bernie,” Rogan said in the clip from his show tweeted out by Sanders.
“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.”
Bernie Sanders must ‘reconsider’ endorsement, says activists.
But Rogan’s rap sheet of anti-trans and misogynistic comments as well as platforming problematic people on his show, such as Milo Yiannopolous, caused outcry.
I really like Bernie. I find Joe Rogan to be pretty awful and transphobic. I hope that he will reconsider publicizing this endorsement. https://t.co/mWKkubuJKM
— blackness everdeen ? (@traceyecorder) January 23, 2020
Joe Rogan is a transphobic bigot who shills for quackery and cuddles up to dangerous racists.
Appearing on his show is bad but understandable. Publicising his endorsement is indefensible. https://t.co/A1ZcPWtFGM
— bernie & warren are both good (@mikeyfranklin) January 24, 2020
Joe Rogan also had friendly interviews with Milo Yiannopolous & Jordan Peterson, yelled "you're a fucking man" on-air about a trans woman, vocally argued against allowing trans kids puberty blockers THIS YEAR, says "f*g," and believes the world is stacked against men, so. Enjoy. https://t.co/X1oFy71elf
— Sady Doyle (@sadydoyle) January 24, 2020
President of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT+ advocacy group in the US, Alphonso David slammed Sanders for publicising the endorsement in an email statement.
Describing how Rogan has “attacked transgender people, gay men, women, people of colour and countless marginalised groups at every opportunity”.
INBOX: HRC President on Joe Rogan Endorsement, Sanders Campaign Response pic.twitter.com/DKzS8cTTrT
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) January 24, 2020
While the presidential contender has “run a campaign unabashedly supportive of the rights of LGBTQ people”, the statement said, Rogan has “compared a black community to Planet of the Apes” and “dehumanised transgender people by misgendering them and promoting misinformation”.
Bernie aide: ‘Sharing a big tent requires including those who do not share every one of our beliefs’.
Amid bubbling backlash against the support, some have described how the endorsement from Rogan shows that right-wing leaning voters can be swung to support the Democrats.
Bernie’s strength is that he can win over some voters who are skeptical of Democrats – like Joe Rogan. If you think getting Trump out of office is actually important, that’s a good thing, and he should lean into it.
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) January 24, 2020
While a Sanders aide stressed to Business Insider that beating US president Donald Trump in the 2020 election will require “solidarity”.
“The goal of our campaign is to build a multiracial, multi-generational movement 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,” Briahna Gray said.
“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.”
Sanders previously appeared on Rogan’s show, which is one of the most downloaded podcasts on iTunes, in August last year.