Sanders Stays True to Self, Wins Audience Support on ‘Late Show’
To wrap up the second week of his run of The Late Show, Stephen Colbert welcomed on Friday night Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, a U.S. Senator from Vermont and the former mayor of Burlington. Sanders’ progressive campaign has gained traction in recent weeks due to his honest rhetoric, especially among younger voters.
Colbert introduced Friday’s show by joking about the derailment of the Clinton campaign, despite her recognition and large super PAC donations. While Clinton struggles to appeal to voters through seemingly cold and calculated ways, Bernie is “the guy in front of you at the deli trying to return Salami,” and liberal America seems to love his authenticity.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 19, 2015Advertisement
Sanders entered the stage to an uproar of cheers. He gifted Colbert a “Feel The Bern” mug and diminutively sat next to the host, hunched over in his over-sized jacket, looking like anybody’s grandfather. Sanders was questioned about his shocking success to which he responded that he knew the American people were looking for someone like him. Sanders likened his success to the populous appeal of Scandinavian countries that have free education, healthcare, and representation of working people and the middle class, as opposed to just the rich.
Refreshingly, Sanders was able to laugh at jokes that Colbert made about him. Colbert questioned Sanders’ meteoric rise, as well as the “insult” of the socialist title. Sanders noted that while “we want a society that encourages entrepreneurship and innovation… what we also want is a society in which all of our people can enjoy a decent standard of living and not a society in which the very rich get much richer while virtually everybody else gets poorer.” (See below for the clip.) Colbert then interrupted the interview for advertisements, which as always are supported by large corporations, to which Sanders gave a toothy laugh.
Colbert eventually turned to Sanders’ opposition, particularly Donald Trump. It seems that every candidate must be questioned about Trump’s campaign, which maybe adds an undeserved legitimacy to the Trump campaign. Sanders kept it brief, affirming that it is disgraceful for a presidential candidate to express hatred for groups of people, calling them rapists and criminals. Trump really “appeals to the baser instincts among us.”
Sanders responded to Clinton’s claim that he will lose against the Republican candidate because he is unknown and too liberal. Sanders countered Clinton’s trite arguments with facts (Sanders has been known to spit out numbers and stats off the top of his head, similar to your college professor). He has fared well against Republicans in the past, and is beating Clinton by a growing margin in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Sanders’ last line, in response to the host’s question on his progress in Colbert’s home state of South Carolina, reveals the earnest and humble nature of the millennials’ favorite candidate, “We’re working on it!”
It seems the audience, and maybe Colbert himself are feelin’ “the Bern,” but how about you? Sound off in the comments below.