On a two-day campaign swing through New Hampshire, Sen. Bernie Sanders made an observation about Granite Staters.
"I've got to say that the people here take their politics seriously," he said.
And Sanders is a serious politician. Unlike many of his opponents who like to laugh it up, share personal stories and show off their personality on the campaign trail, Sanders is more comfortable talking policy than yucking it up with the locals.
U.S. & World
"It is who I am. I'm a fairly private person. If you follow me around at the town meetings that we do, and other events, of course I talk to people," Sanders said. "You have to be warm and personable. But I think what's most important people want to know — am I going to be able to afford health care?"
That approach hasn't hurt Sanders. The latest New Hampshire poll shows him on top. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has surpassed Sanders in several recent polls, but the two most progressive candidates battling it out for similar voters have avoided attacking each other.
Asked when he would start drawing a stronger distinction between himself and Warren, Sanders said, "I'm going to let Sen. Warren, who is a friend of mine, run her campaign, and we're going to run our campaign."
He was further pressed to distinguish himself from Warren.
"Well, that's what the voters are going to have to decide," Sanders said.
One key difference — Sanders is a socialist, Warren a capitalist. Is Warren able to bring in a lot more people because she calls herself a capitalist?
"Look, you can talk to Elizabeth about her, if it's OK with you," Sanders said. "Elizabeth will defend herself. All I can tell you is if you're ask me about democratic socialism, I'll tell you what it means. It means that the time is long overdue for us to stand up to powerful corporate interests right now."
Told that he doesn't sound worried about Warren, Sanders responded, "You keep asking about Elizabeth. I am worried about Donald Trump being the worst president in the modern history of this country."
Clearly, Sanders is avoiding any kind of criticism of Warren — at least for now.