Willie Nelson: ‘I’m a Great Bernie and Hillary Fan’
Legendary country music artist Willie Nelson told PJM he is a great fan of Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
Nelson was in Washington to receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Library of Congress. The award ceremony featured performances by Neil Young and Rosanne Cash.
Given that the country star has been active in the push to legalize marijuana, PJM asked Nelson which candidate he plans to support in the presidential race.
“Well, you know, it’s not over yet. I’m still watching the show but I’m a great Bernie and Hillary fan, you know,” Nelson said at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, where the ceremony took place.
When asked what he likes about Clinton and Sanders, Nelson replied, “Everything.”
Another reporter asked Nelson about his inspirations when writing a song.
“I like a lot of different writers, of course, Gershwin is absolutely a great writer and Hank Williams,” he said.
Nelson was also asked what he would discuss with President Obama if he had a chance to meet with him while visiting Washington.
“We talk about a lot of things. I’ve met him several times before, so he’s a good friend,” Nelson responded.
Country artist Rosanne Cash, daughter of the late Johnny Cash, also told PJM she likes both Clinton and Sanders.
“I’d love to see a women become president before I die,” she said before being asked if she was referring to Clinton or GOP candidate Carly Fiorina. “She’s [Clinton] out there. I mean, I do like Bernie as well. It’s tough, you know. I’m an old-school liberal.”
Cash said she is most concerned about “gun violence among children” and fair compensation for vocalists. Cash supports a bill pending in Congress that would allow vocalists to collect royalties for their contribution to recordings.
PJM spotted actor Luke Wilson in the audience before the concert began. Wilson said he had not been in Washington since he was a kid but decided to attend the concert as a fan of Nelson.
“I’m not really aligned with any particular cause,” he said. “I’m just glad to be here.”
Wilson said he is following the 2016 presidential election.
“I’m real into all of it. I don’t like to get real political but it’s just real fun to watch. I read the New York Times and L.A. Times every day to stay on top of all that. I’ve never seen anything like this one,” he said. “It’s pretty wild and interesting to read the reviews of that new Bush 41 book that just came out and tie it all into what’s happening now with the election. It’s wild.”
Wilson said he watches CNN but was unaware it was “left-wing until Al Michaels told me that.”
PBS will air the full concert on Jan. 15.