Former President Bill Clinton said Tuesday that he understands why Republican front-runner Donald Trump is resonating with many voters: He has a “macho” appeal.
In an interview with Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show” on Tuesday, the former president said Trump’s lure with Republican primary voters was rooted in Trump’s promise to simply remove any obstacles that stand in the way of reform.
“He’s a master brander, and he’s the most interesting character out there, and because he says something that overrides the ideological differences,” Clinton said of Trump.
“You look at the first debate – a lot of those guys were competing for who could be the most politically correct on the answers,” he continued. “Trump says, ‘OK, I’ve supported Democrats. I’ve supported Republicans. Yeah, I used to be friends with Bill Clinton. Who cares? I run things, and I build things, and you need somebody who will go in there and fix it. And if they don’t let me fix it, I’ll just get them out of the way.'”
That, Clinton said, is the kind of “macho-appeal” attitude that resonates with voters.
“There is a macho appeal to saying, ‘I’m just sick of nothing happening. I’m going to make things happen. Vote for me,'” Clinton said.
The former president also disputed rumors that during a phone call with Trump earlier this year, Clinton told Trump that he should run for president.
“Because that would be pretty smart, man,” Colbert quipped.
“Yeah, I get credit for doing a lot of things I didn’t do like that,” Clinton said.
Clinton told Colbert that his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, mentioned that she ran into Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, who told Chelsea that Donald Trump had tried to call the former president. When Bill Clinton called Trump back, they didn’t talk about presidential politics, Clinton said.
“I had a very pleasant conversation with him, and it wasn’t about running for office,” Clinton told Colbert. “So I missed the chance.”
Clinton, who was Tuesday’s show promoting the Clinton Global Initiative, has thus far been somewhat in the background of the campaign of his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But many observers say Clinton is likely to ramp up his appearances and overall role in her campaign.
Watch Clinton’s full “Late Show” appearance below: