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Jon Stewart tells Bolivian president America's elections are 'rigged'
Mike Aivaz and Jason Rhyne
Published: Wednesday September 26, 2007

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Bolivian president Evo Morales and his translator joined Jon Stewart to discuss the leader's rise from poor farmer to Bolivia's "first indigenous president." Morales also made use of the the opportunity to take some jabs at America and the West.

"I understand that all have rights. It's not just intellectuals and professionals who can become president," Morales said through translation. "People who have other experiences, who have a working life as well, can become president. Therefore indigenous persons can also become president."

"In Bolivia," Steward deadpanned. "In America, it's a little rigged."

"So if it's rigged, then something needs to be done to change that," the leader said.

Discussing Morales's accomplishments, Stewart noted that the president's campaign promises, which had included pledges to nationalize resources, convene a constitutional assembly and institute agrarian reform, were all completed within eight months of his election.

"What are you trying to pull?" Stewart asked.

"On the issue of nationalization of oil and gas," Morales said, "in 2005, before I came president, the Bolivian state received only 300 million dollars from its oil and gas exports. And now since they've been nationalized, the Bolivian state receives more than two billion dollars. Therefore, we followed through on what we promised."

"We are going forward with the idea of a multi-cultural state," he continued, "a multi-national state, trying to live in unity at the same time respecting our diversity."

"We're so diverse, there are blue and green-eyed people like you,"the president joked, pointing at Stewart.

Responding to a question about the US and its relationship with countries including Venezuela and Cuba, Morales said the nations should come together to think about "how we can support life and human kind."

"It should be the millennium of life," he said.

"I personally know that there are presidents in countries who send troops abroad to save lives," Morales added later in the program, "but there are also countries who send troops abroad to take away lives. If we compare these two things...certainly we're going to the conclusion that these policies must change."

"And please don't consider me to part of the axis of evil," he begged.

The following video is from Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart, broadcast on September 25, 2007