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‘West Wing’ star Bradley Whitford says fakest thing about show was ‘rational Republicans’

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Actor Bradley Whitford on Tuesday reflected on “The West Wing” 20 years after it first aired, saying the “fakest thing” about the hit show was that it had some characters who were presented as “rational Republicans.”

Whitford told BuzzFeed News in an interview that while a lot of conservatives loved the show during its seven-season run, many Republicans today wouldn’t recognize the character traits.

“The fakest thing about that show was that we had rational Republicans,” Whitford said. “That’s a creature that used to exist.”

Whitford starred as Josh Lyman, the deputy chief of staff to fictional Democratic President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet, in the NBC political drama that aired from 1999 to 2006.

Despite the show’s success, Whitford said he’s not sure it would work in today’s market because “it’s a very dark, weird time now.”

“We are so cynical about politics, and that show is the opposite of cynicism,” Whitford said. “It shows the difficulties that you go through, but showed people who really believe in the mission of government and understand that politics is the way you create your modern vision.”

Whitford, who won an Emmy this month for his work on Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” told BuzzFeed that it would be “very difficult” to bring the show back for any kind of reboot.

“Somehow we’ve gotten to this place where if we don’t agree politically it’s not just that we don’t agree politically, it’s that the other person is insane,” he said.

“I’m guilty of that kind of thinking,” Whitford added, “I think we all are. I’m not sure how we get out of it.”

Whitford hit the campaign trail for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016 and has been a vocal critic of President Trump.

“Donald Trump turned my hair white and causes constant stress,” Whitford told Stephen Colbert on CBS’s “Late Show” in January.

As for the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, Whitford told BuzzFeed that his “West Wing” character would probably support South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttgieg on policy.

“I think Josh would be one of those people that want to strengthen ObamaCare, get a public option in,” Whitford added.

He also said his character would probably like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) because “he would lean toward pragmatism.”

Tags Bradley Whitford Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Hillary Clinton Josh Lyman Stephen Colbert The West Wing
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