Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, Oct. 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Photo by Charlie Neibergall/AP

Sanders on TODAY: ‘Glad’ Clinton is moving my way on issues

Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders says Hillary Clinton is now supporting issues he’s backed for decades — and he’s pleased to see it.

“In the last couple months, Hillary has come on board with positions I’ve held for many years,” the Vermont senator told TODAY’s Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie. “I’m glad that Hillary Clinton is moving in my direction.”

Asked whether Clinton has a better chance to succeed in a general election, Sanders said “absolutely not.”

“The enthusiasm that we are generating means that a lot of working class people and young people who have given up on the political process are now coming out,” the lawmaker explained.

Sanders has gone out of his way to critique what he believes are the weaknesses of his direct rival’s campaign, veering from his usual script at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Iowa on Saturday night. Without specifically mentioning her name, he said he “will govern based on principle not poll numbers” and that he would oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, which Clinton once supported but now opposes.

“I did not support it yesterday,” he said. “I do not support it today. And I will not support it tomorrow.”

Sanders also highlighted differences with Clinton on the Iraq War, the Defense of Marriage Act and the Keystone XL Pipeline. Sanders, 74, has also likened his campaign to the underdog run of Barack Obama in 2008, when he defeated Clinton for the Democratic nomination before being elected president.

On Monday night, Congressional leaders reached a tentative two-year budget deal that would extend the debt limit to 2017 but also could reduce funding for Social Security and Medicare, two programs that Sanders has proposed that he would expand if he becomes president. During an appearance on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC Monday night, Sanders said he had not been briefed on the budget deal but that he would not support the proposed cuts.

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Bernie Sanders

Sanders on TODAY: 'Glad' Clinton is moving my way on issues