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Bernie Sanders: Sex article is like '50 Shades of Grey'

After staying silent for several days, Sanders on "Meet the Press" Sunday addressed the controversial article.

Bernie Sanders called a graphic sex article he penned in the 1970s that was unearthed last week "very poorly written," and compared it to the erotic romance novel "50 Shades of Grey."

After staying silent for several days, the 2016 presidential candidate on "Meet the Press" Sunday addressed the controversial article. 

"It was very poorly written and if you read it -- what it was dealing with -- gender stereotypes, why some men like to oppress women, why other women like to be submissive," Sanders said.

"Something like '50 Shades of Grey,'" he added. 

Host Chuck Todd only read one line from the essay, telling the Vermont senator "it's uncomfortable to read."

Mother Jones resurfaced the piece entitled "Man-and-Woman," last Thursday. It was published in the Vermont Freeman, an alternative weekly paper, 43 years ago.

The line from the article that Todd was able to get out during the show: "A woman enjoys intercourse with her man — as she fantasizes being raped by 3 men simultaneously."

Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs last week on CNN called the work "dark satire" that "in no way reflects his views or record on women."

"It was intended to attack gender stereotypes of the '70s, but it looks as stupid today as it was then," Briggs said.

Related: Can Bernie Sanders take the ‘Burlington Revolution’ national?

Sanders drew a crowd of thousands in Vermont last Tuesday, where he kicked off his official presidential campaign among supporters. And on Sunday, he attempted to keep the focus on just that.

"What I'm focusing on right now are the issues impacting the American people today," he shifted away from the article. "And that's what I'll continue to focus on."