For our fortieth anniversary, the editors of Rolling Stone have interviewed twenty artists and leaders who helped shape our time. Today we conclude our four-week-long string of debuting exclusive audio clips from the Q&As. We hope you enjoyed gaining access to some of the most important personalities in history.
For our final installment, we’re sharing choice audio from our talk with former Presidential candidate George McGovern. It may be his landslide loss to Richard Nixon in the 1972 election that made his name, but it was Nixon’s downfall, thanks to that glorious event known as “Watergate,” that made McGovern a legend. Over the last forty years, McGovern has been one of the loudest and most consistent Democratic voices, a distinction he’s maintained well into his mid-’80s. In an interview with Douglas Brinkley for our fortieth anniversary issue, McGovern talks at length about blazing the campaign trail with Hunter S. Thompson, why he’d prefer Nixon over George W. Bush and why he’s rooting for Barack Obama. Check out the three audio excerpts below, and for the full McGovern profile, pick up your copy of our fortieth anniversary issue, on stands now.
McGovern argues the Iraqi people had something worse to fear than Saddam Hussein’s tyranny… Humvees: “Saddam Hussein was somewhat brutal in the way he put them down but the people he’s killed are dwarfed by the ones we’ve killed since we’ve occupied the country.”
McGovern gets real about Iran’s nuclear program: “They’re number two on the “Axis of Evil” list, and Bush has already knocked off number one. If you’re Iran’s minister of defense, I think you’d try to develop at least one nuclear weapon to save yourself from what happened to Iraq.”
McGovern talks about the biggest problem our next President will face: “The military budget just keeps growing and growing. We can’t go on spending a major part of our budget year after year on imaginary enemies who aren’t there.”
This concludes our final installment of audio interviews, featuring some of the most iconic and influential pop culture figures of the last 40 years, to signify Rolling Stone‘s Fortieth Anniversary. Be sure to check out what previous interviews you might have missed, including audio from Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Neil Young, Martin Scorsese, and many more.