Bill Clinton closes Miller Center's Presidential Ideas Festival at UVA

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) — Former president Bill Clinton was the closing speaker Thursday at the University of Virginia Miller Center's Presidential Ideas Festival.

Clinton started his speech by commending the former governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, for how he condemned the Unite the Right Rally on August 12, 2017.

"The governor of Virginia on that day was my president," said Clinton. "When he said 'there is no place in this commonwealth for racism, for anti-semitism, for any form of religious bigotry, for bullying and for violence. Get out of here and do not come back.'"

He then took the crowd back through the nation's history, pointing out past presidents and moments that brought unity to the country rather than division.

"I think the best presidents have sought to define 'We the People' in a way that broadens both the idea and the reality of who counts in this country," said Clinton.

He reflected on how he tried to unite the country during his own time as president.

"As president, my often stated definition of making our union more perfect was this: I thought my job was to widen the circle of opportunity, to deepen the meaning of freedom, and to strengthen the bonds of our community."

He said in his experience, people working together to make a better world has better results.

"Diverse groups committed to the rule of law and believing in 'We the People,'" said Clinton, "will make better decisions over any relevant amount of time than homogenous groups or even lone geniuses."

Clinton left the crowd with the responsibility to do their part in making a more perfect union.

"If we do our part, chances are we'll get a president, he, and I hope to God someday she, who will certainly do the same," said Clinton.

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