Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has won another celebrity endorsement, and it’s one that fits perfectly with his anti-establishment persona. Tommy Chong is backing the senator from Vermont, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday, and the comedian has a new web video to explain his support.
The comedian best known for his “Cheech and Chong” films and his advocacy for legal marijuana begins his Sanders video by comparing the group of 2016 presidential candidates to marijuana plants, according to the LA Times. Only Sanders, who Chong calls the “commander in Kush” is “mature” enough to be harvested.
“Only one candidate this year has said things I truly believe in, like supporting the legalization of ...,” Chong said, pausing for dramatic effect, “a fair and humane immigration policy.”
The video is set to appear online in the coming weeks, but the LA Times has a behind-the-scenes video that you can watch on their website. In this video, Chong explains that his son turned him on to Sanders and that he sees the Vermont senator as “for real.”
Sanders introduced a bill last November that would abolish all federal penalties for possessing and growing marijuana. But it's not only this support that Chong likes about the candidate.
“Bernie says and does what he feels from the heart and that’s what people resonate with,” Chong said in the LA Times video. “His ideas are like seeds of equality, justice and truth,” the comedian added.
Chong has millions of followers on Twitter and Facebook, where the video will be shared, and a marijuana-focused promo is likely to be popular with Sanders’ grassroots supporters. However, the Chong endorsement also strikes a different tone from the one Sanders’ campaign has been using as it has called him the most electable candidate in recent days.
It’s no secret that Sanders’ rival and the Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton, has garnered most of Hollywood’s endorsements. From the moment she announced her 2016 bid, Clinton has seen the support of stars like Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry, Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham. She has also received endorsements from the Democratic establishment and business leaders like Warren Buffett. This weekend, Clinton even got the first-ever primary endorsement of Planned Parenthood, an organization very popular among the young voters who Sanders often courts.
But Sanders has gotten his own share of celebrity attention. Actor Mark Ruffalo has been a vocal proponent of the senator, and Atlanta rapper Michael Render, known as Killer Mike, has recently shown his support for Sanders.
While Chong’s video nods to his support for marijuana and makes use of his comedy chops, the comedian is also serious about his agreement with Sanders’ ideas. “He is not trying to advocate for special interests like everybody else, Bernie is for the people,” Chong said in the video.
He said Clinton would be a fine president if she is elected, the LA Times reported, but the role of money in politics made him choose Sanders.
“It is a money dance. They are dancing for whoever is pulling the strings,” he said. “That's what I like about Bernie, there is no one pulling the strings.”