Mike Gravel, a former senator from Alaska, praised two teenagers who are running his long-shot, unconventional campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, saying the pair of young political operatives are helping him raise awareness about bold progressive ideas not discussed by other Democrats in the crowded race.
At age 89, the Alaska Democrat, who represented the state for more than a decade in the 1970s and early 1980s, is running for president for a second time and delegating most of the day-to-day operations to two 18-year-olds, Henry Williams and David Oks. He said the teens were the ones who convinced him to launch another underdog White House bid.
“When I finally succumbed to their pressures, I gave them access to the Twitter and they gave me a veto power, which I’ve only exercised once, by warning them about rough language,” he told CBSN’s “Red & Blue” on Monday. “Other than that, it’s been their show.”
Gravel said he decided to give Williams and Oks the reins to his campaign because he found them to be “unbelievably precocious.”
His Twitter account has gained notoriety for constant posts in which the “candidate” often mocks other Democratic politicians for not embracing more progressive proposals. Gravel lamented the fact that many of the two-dozen Democrats running for president have been touting centrist platforms, especially surrounding foreign policy.
He said the only candidates who are running on the anti-war message he has strongly supported for years are Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Asked about the possibility of Sanders choosing him as his running mate, Gravel said he thinks he’s well-equipped to serve as vice president.
“Well, you never know. I’m flexible. If do get up there, I’m good for a couple, three years,” he added.