Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles 2016

Bernie Sanders tells Stephen Colbert why he's staying in the race and what he wants

On Thursday evening, Sen. Bernie Sanders kicked off a 24-hour "Where We Go Now" tour in New York, speaking for an hour and a half on the themes that have animated his run for the White House. He did not drop out of the race, nor did he endorse Hillary Clinton, who beat him for the Democratic nomination. Before his speech, Sanders sat down with Stephen Colbert, who politely asked him on Thursday's Late Show why he's still running and what he hopes to accomplish.

"What we're doing now is marshaling our resources to make sure that a) we defeat Donald Trump, and we defeat him badly," Sanders said, "and b) most importantly — look, campaigns are about winning and losing a nomination, but what's more important is the need to transform America. And to do that, what I've said from Day 1 is we need a political revolution." Sanders said that he got more than 12 million votes in the primary, including the lion's share of young voters, all potential Democrats. "What do we want in return?" he asked. "We want our 12 million supporters to be heard!"

Sanders said his campaign is talking to Clinton and her campaign, "and what we are trying to do is to make certain that she's going to come out very strongly in moving toward making public colleges and universities tuition-free — I want to see her move in that direction." Colbert asked pointedly if the conversation with Clinton is "friendly," and Sanders said yes, with caveats, and then Colbert asked if Sanders had any response to Trump's overtures to his supporters. "I don't have to say that — my supporters are smart enough to know that we do not want a bigot to become president of the United States."

In the second part of the interview, Sanders said he isn't negotiating with Clinton for a plum job — Colbert suggests "ambassador to Narnia" — and is happy being a senator from Vermont. He also discussed the House Democrats' sit-in for a vote on gun control laws and looked back on his favorite campaign moments. Watch below. Peter Weber