Bernie Sanders embraces Brooklyn roots

- The last time New York Democratic primary voters were polled earlier this month, Hillary Clinton led Bernie Sanders by a whopping 48 points. Now just a few weeks later her lead has been cut to 12. So it makes sense that Sanders was not lowering expectations when I sat down with him Thursday in Midtown Manhattan. Sanders said he likes his chances.

The Vermont senator is confident even though Clinton still leads in the latest poll and she has been endorsed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio as well as Senators Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand.

"I know all of those people -- and I like all of those people -- they're good people," Sanders said. "But in every state we go -- whether it's Minnesota, whether it's Colorado, whether it is Washington -- we have the entire Democratic establishment against us -- and guess what, more often than not we win."

So far the Democratic primary hasn't been as vicious as the Republicans, but it's still been tough. Earlier this week on a conference call with reporters, Clinton's chief strategist said this eyebrow raising comment about Sanders: "I think he's going to campaign like a Brooklynite, and she's going to campaign like a senator who represented this state for eight years and has lived here for 16."

What does "campaign like a Brooklynite" mean to him?

"I haven't the vaguest idea to tell you the truth but I do know I was born in Brooklyn, my wife was born in Brooklyn -- we're very proud of that," Sanders said. "And if it means being aggressive, if it means being smart, if it means being tough I accept that title."

Sanders also going after Trump's comments the he wouldn't rule out using nuclear weapons against ISIS.

"I think he has become an embarrassment not only to the American people but even to the sane people in the Republican Party," Sanders said. "The idea of talking about using nuclear weapons, and when you have so many weapons all over the world -- nine countries with nuclear weapons -- is totally insane."

And on pizza -- that culinary issue that divides so many New Yorkers, including the mayor -- Sanders took a stand.

"This is a tough gotcha question you're asking me -- I myself prefer it without the fork. I have to admit it -- I know we're probably going to lose millions of votes here," Sanders said. "But nonetheless I'm for picking it up and eating it."

Now Sanders says he plans to spend a lot more time in New York after the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday. And you heard it here: the Brooklyn native is expecting all that time in the Empire State to put him over the top on April 19.

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