Speed Reads

last night on late night

On Colbert's Late Show, Bernie Sanders responds to Hillary Clinton, tries to say something nice on Trump

On Thursday's Late Show, Stephen Colbert asked Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) if he missed the cheers from crowds, now that he's no longer campaigning for president. He said yes, but he is promoting a book, Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution. Instead of talking about it, Colbert asked about the book coming out from Hillary Clinton, who will be on The Late Show Sept. 19. He read Sanders some of Clinton's comments about him and the lasting damage she said Sanders did to her campaign, making it harder to unify progressives.

Sanders disagreed with that assessment, saying "the progressive movement today and grassroots activism is stronger than it has been in many, many years," and crediting his campaign for getting younger people to vote and run for office. "We have got to stand together against [President] Trump's efforts to divide us up, take on the billionaire class, and make that political revolution," Sanders said. Then he took a stab at unity: "Look, you know, Secretary Clinton ran against the most unpopular candidate in the history of this country, and she lost, and she was upset about it, and I understand that. But our job now is really not to go backwards. It is to go forward."

Colbert agreed, then turned back to 2016 with a wink, asking about Clinton's line about Sanders promising ponies. Sanders said none of his promises were "pipe dreams." His campaign "broke through a box" and "helped transform politics in America," he said. Colbert asked Sanders for some suggestions on what he should ask Clinton about those ponies, and Sanders said she should join the progressive crusade. "We need her help to go forward, let's not keep arguing about 2016," he said. "Let's get together, take on Trump's desire to divide us up, let's go forward with a progressive agenda. Ask her if she'll do that."

Colbert asked Sanders to say something nice about Trump, and after a pause, Sanders said he liked Trump's campaign rhetoric "about taking on the pharmaceutical industry and lowering the very, very high cost of prescription drugs in this country." Sanders talked about the Medicare-for-all bill he is introducing next Wednesday and infrastructure, and when Colbert asked if he's running in 2020, Sanders demurred. The American people want progress, and "they do not like never-ending campaigns," he said, truthfully. "Media likes that, I don't think people do." Watch below. Peter Weber