CNN aired an emotional interview with former GOP Rep. Paul Mitchell on Sunday, honoring his wishes that his plea for bipartisanship only be played after his death. During the discussion, anchor Jake Tapper teared up.
Tapper’s voice cracked as he told Mitchell they were doing an “unusual” interview, but Mitchell was calm as he shared his message: “For me, it’s innate to just say, ‘Where can we agree?’ There’s value in people you don’t agree with.”
Mitchell, who left Congress in 2019 and then left the GOP following former president Donald Trump’s baseless insistence that the 2020 election was somehow rigged in favor of President Joe Biden, died of cancer on Aug. 16. He conducted his interview with Tapper from hospice.
“I’d like to talk with President Biden and some of the people I know in the administration about … we need real bipartisanship. Our country — our society — is struggling and it’s struggling because people can’t accept they believe in different things and look for what they agree on and decide whether someone’s a good person or not.”
Mitchell said he believed “you have to choose whether or not to love people” instead of trying to find “political gain” and “creating hatred.” Tapper responded with, “It’s been an honor. You and I have become friends from interviews and phone calls and text messages and it’s been an honor to know you and it makes me very sad that we’re going to lose you. You’ve been a person who’s conducted himself with real honor and integrity and I hope you know that there are a lot of us out here who think that about you.”
Watch below, via CNN.