Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles 2016

Bernie Sanders helps Stephen Colbert kick off Late Show, talks Donald Trump

Stephen Colbert started off Wednesday's Late Show with an explanation of Ash Wednesday and a struggle over whether he could break the late-night rules by skipping the monologue and just running to his desk to discuss the New Hampshire primaries. The winner of the Democratic primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders, walked on to tell him he could, and to provide comic relief.

Later in the show, when Sanders sat down for his interview, Colbert asked him why he thinks he crushed Hillary Clinton among young voters. Sanders had two theories. First, he said, "by definition, young people are idealistic, and they look at a world with so many problems and they say 'Why not?'" In this case, the "why not?" refers to free college tuition and single-payer health care. "The second part that I think young people are thinking about is how does it happen that with all of this technology and productivity in our economy, they are likely to have a lower standard of living than their parents, while almost all new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent?" Sanders said. Colbert noted that he is part of the 1 percent, and the rich aren't just giving their money away.

Then Colbert turned to the winner of the New Hampshire Republican primary. "Do you think that there's a similarity in appeal between you and Donald Trump?" he asked, noting that some polls showed that plenty of New Hampshire voters didn't decide until the last minute whether they were going to vote for Trump or Sanders.

"Well, I think a lot of Donald Trump supporters are angry," Sanders replied. "They're in many cases people who are working longer hours for low wages, they're people who are really worried about what's going to happen to their kids." But unlike his supporters, Sanders added, these voters have "responded to Trump's false message" of Latino-scapegoating and Islamophobia. "People have a right to be angry," he added, "but what we need to be is rational in figuring out how we address the problems, and not simply scapegoating minorities." Watch Sanders also bash Bill O'Reilly and try to explain how he would enact his agenda below. Peter Weber