Democratic White House hopeful and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders paid his first visit to NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon tonight. Fallon almost immediately launched into talk of Donald Trump and his controversial plan to ban Muslims from coming into the country, but, only temporarily until our political representatives figure out “what the hell is going on” which, based on Trump’s assessment of the current administration and Congress, means a long long time. Fallon asked Sanders what he made of Trump’s latest headline grabbing comments.
“Jimmy, throughout history you have had demagogues trying to to divert attention away from the real issues,” Sanders began. “This country today faces some enormous problems. We have a middle class that’s disappearing. We have almost all wealth going to the top 1%. We have climate change. We have a corrupt campaign finance system. What somebody like a Trump is trying to do is to divide us up. A few months ago we were supposed to hate Mexicans. He thinks they’re all criminals or rapists. Now we’re supposed to hate Muslims. That kind of crap is not going to work in the United States of America,” Sanders said, to wild applause from Fallon’s Rockefeller Center studio audience. “I think what American people understand is, given the problems we face, we’ve got to stand together, come together, and create a decent life for all of our people, and stop this scapegoating of one group or another.”
Asked if he was now more focused on beating Donald Trump or beating Hillary Clinton, Sanders laughed, “I look forward to beating Donald Trump. I would enjoy that race very, very much. But first, we’ve got to get past Secretary Clinton and I think we’re going to do that as well.”
A little talk about Sanders’ web site, and some discussion of climate change later, Fallon announced he wanted to play Whisper Challenge. Sanders is a very good lip reader. Fallon, not so much.