Bill Clinton Talks US politics, Brexit and the Irish Presidency on Newstalk

Category: News

10 September 2018: In an exclusive interview broadcast on Newstalk’s The Pat Kenny Show this morning, former US President Bill Clinton has expressed his dismay at US politics and Brexit and the importance of Ireland having a president.

President Clinton highlighted that the current political climate in the US is creating a very dangerous symptom of an ‘us versus them’ world. Referencing the thorny issue of immigration, President Clinton said that while everyone wants some limits on the flow of people into the country, he argues it is ‘a manufactured crisis to take advantage of the global tide of identity politics.’ Following the recent family separation crisis on the Mexico border, he said the US is fighting for its history as a nation of refugees against policies that divides children and parents.

In the wide ranging interview, the 42nd US President also noted the importance and value placed on the words of a sitting President and how they can shape public discourse, attitudes and assumptions. In a veiled attack on President Donal Trump, he said: “The older you get you’ve got fewer days in front  of you than you do behind you and you don’t want to waste them going around like a peacock.”

On issues facing Ireland, President Clinton also expressed his fear of the impact a no deal Brexit would have on the Good Friday Agreement and peace in Northern Ireland. President Clinton said he hoped the political situation in the North would settle once the Brexit issue is dealt with. The former Arkansas Governor also expressed his disappointment of the Brexit vote saying it never made any sense to him.

With an Irish Presidential election fast approaching, the former US President also discussed his appreciation for the role. President Clinton said the role offers the office holder the chance to represent the country in the best possible light around the world while reminding Irish people of the things that bring you together. Noting the country’s humanitarian work, he said “Ireland is the only country in the world that every single day, since the UN was established, has had at least one citizen in another country trying to save lives trying to protect people, so the nation state is important and the President is a symbol of that.”

The interview with President Clinton is available to listen now on www.newstalk.com. You can also watch the video on Newstalk’s social channels.

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