Bill Clinton Goes On 'The Late Show' With Advice for Young Voters

October 7th 2015

Diana Crandall

President Bill Clinton joined comedian and host of "The Late Show," Stephen Colbert, to talk about the Clinton Global Initiative, a non-profit that just had it’s 11th Annual Meeting in New York City. But President Clinton couldn’t leave Colbert’s hot seat without fielding questions about the former President’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is a top Democratic contender in the 2016 presidential election.

“Who do you like for 2016? And please try to be impartial here,” Colbert joked.

“The lady I saw singing on Saturday Night Live,” President Clinton retorted.

Why Trump and Sanders are doing well

Donald Trump Campaigning

Clinton also explained why he believes the lack of compromise in Washington is helping Trump’s campaign. He called him a “master brander,” “the most interesting candidate out there,” and explained that Trump’s no-bullshit approach makes him attractive to voters.

“He says something that overrides the ideological differences: ‘I run things, and I’ve built things. And you need somebody who goes in there and fixes it… I’m sick of nothing happening, I make things happen. Vote for me.’”

On Bernie Sanders, his wife's chief rival for the Democratic nomination, Clinton said that anger at the wealthy as well as a desire to push the Democratic Party to the left has helped Sanders outperform early expectations.

"Because there [are] a lot of people all over the world that are really hacked off that they think the system's rigged against them and the rich get all of the gains," Clinton said about the cause of Sanders' rise. "And in America a lot of them believe that if the Republicans have been rewarded [for going further to the right], the Democrats would be even more effective if they moved further to the left." 

Why Congress is frozen

Colbert was quick to bring up the fact that American people are frustrated with the lack of movement happening on Capitol Hill. He asked Clinton: why it is that Congress is in a constant state of sitting, doing nothing, where no compromises are made between parties?

“One of the reasons that we have gridlock is that the Democrats have too many people who vote in only presidential elections. They don’t understand how important the non-presidential years are,” President Clinton said. “That’s when all of the house is voted on, a third of the senate. Most of the state legislatures and most of the governors, and they redistrict the Congressional districts."

President Bill Clinton

How you can make a difference

The problem, Clinton explained, is that there isn’t a balance of power anymore between the two parties.

“The Republicans, I feel sort of bad for them… they’re far more in danger being bumped off in a Republican primary [election] for being too moderate than they are losing a general election for being too far to the right,” Clinton said.

He asserted that if Democrats want to make change, they must step up to the plate when November rolls around.

“Our side has to own some responsibility. We’ve got to vote every time they open the door, not just once every four years. And if we did that, yeah, there’d be some more Democrats. But the main thing is that the Republicans would have some vested interest in creating compromise.”

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