Former South Dakota Senator George McGovern is dishing out some advice for today's politicians.
We spoke with the 89-year-old about his political legacy Monday and about what's next in his life.
We caught up with McGovern at his alma mater, Dakota Wesleyan University. He was there as part of the Annual McGovern Conference to speak and to sign copies of his new book and the former presidential candidate took some time to discuss present politics with us.
Former Senator George McGovern says he is tired of today's politicians pointing their fingers at one another, without accomplishing much. He says, "it's easy to point out the sins of your neighbor, but what are you for? So I decided to write a book."
McGovern's latest book, What it Means to be a Democrat is meant as a blue print for his party. He says, "I've laid out a simple, direct, brief program that I hope the democratic party will follow."
During his book signing, the former presidential candidate discussed the key points in the book, one being that he thinks the U.S. needs universal healthcare coverage, but he says it needs to be in simple terms, not 15,000 page-bills. McGovern says, "a one sentence bill, 'congress hereby extends Medicare to every citizen.'"
McGovern also took time to reflect on his legacy, citing his role in ending the Vietnam War and his work to end world hunger as his proudest achievements. He says, "I've been very lucky in life. I've never had a job I didn't enjoy."
And at 89-years-old, McGovern says he's still enjoying every working moment.
McGovern says although he is a life-long Democrat, he respects the Republican party, much of his work to end hunger has been alongside former Republican Senator Bob Dole.
McGovern says both parties need to start working together and stop the bickering.
Senator McGovern also discussed his health on Monday. He spent some time in the hospital recently for exhaustion. He says he's feeling great today, but during his recent stay at the Mayo Clinic realized he can't act like he's 25 anymore. McGovern says he just needs to take things a bit slower at 89.
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