Tapper told Mitchell this is the first time he’s conducted an interview of this nature, that was meant to air after the interviewee has passed away.
Asked what he would miss most about his life, Mitchell said in the interview he would miss his family “first and foremost,” but added that what he misses now in today’s political climate is “real bipartisanship.”
“What I miss right now is, I wish — I’d like to talk with President [Joe] Biden and some of the people I know in the administration about, we need real bipartisanship,” Mitchell said. “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.”
He said issues such as whether or not to receive the Covid-19 vaccination are “breaking up families.”
Mitchell added that a new perspective he’s gained from his hospice bed — while watching recent politics play out — is that “you have to choose whether or not to love people or to go through life trying to get political gain.”
“I think we lack the willingness to just accept people. I’ve had good friends on the Democratic side. We only agree on maybe 10 to 15 percent, but I think the world of them,” he said.
Tapper appeared to tear up at one point in the interview, as he told Mitchell it’s been an honor to know him and become friends with him through “interviews, phone calls and text messages.”
“You’ve been a person who has 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,” Tapper said.
Mitchell’s final message in the interview was a call for trying to understand people, and saying that disagreeing with someone “doesn’t inherently make them a bad person.”
“Learn to understand people and judge less. And love more and have less hatred … Just take the time to care about the other person. If you care about them, it’s hard to hate them,” Mitchell said.