Bill Clinton delivers speech on 25th anniversary of his election

Last Updated Nov 6, 2017 10:51 PM EST

Former president Bill Clinton spoke at Georgetown University Monday afternoon, marking the 25th anniversary of his election. In his remarks, Clinton asked the audience to reflect on the character of the United States and answer the question: "what does a nation itself mean?"

"As we all know there's a big debate again today about the fundamental character of America," Clinton said. "What are our responsibilities to each other in an age of unprecedented interdependence and globalization?"

He then applied this question to specific, recent instances which he cited as tests of the country's character.

"Is it okay for Facebook to accept a large investment from a Russian billionaire and then have unchecked zillion articles from Russian fake news sites without disclosing it?" the former president asked. "What's the function of borders? If you put up a wall you might be able to keep people out, but you can't keep the Internet out. You can't keep ideas out," he later added.

Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton delivers a keynote address at Georgetown University Institute of Politics and Public Service symposium to mark the 25th anniversary of President Clinton's 1992 presidential election victory in Washington, D.C., on Mon., Nov. 6, 2017.


"Do we believe, fundamentally, in having an inclusive nation of cooperating, diverse communities? Or a nation of exclusive groups with separate interests and goals, who believe in order for them to win, someone else has to lose."

Clinton emphasized the importance of strong, positive leadership and inclusivity in the face of political adversity.

"Everybody should be seen, everybody should be heard," he said. "But that requires a certain style of leadership. Which, again, is providence not just of the elected, but of every active citizen. Which kind of leadership do you favor: blame or responsibility?"