There is a strain in today's politics that unnerves people who thought they understood the political world, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Thursday.
However, he refused to draw a straight line between leftist British Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
"Obviously I didn't support Jeremy Corbyn ... but he did get elected by the party membership, so it's not as if he's got no support," Blair told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program
. "What there is today are these great insurgent movements around individuals that gather immense momentum, carry people along with them."
The left, Blair said, has the same themes on both sides of the ocean: "We want a political revolution, we want this for free and that for free and we want to shake up the elites and so on. All of which is completely understandable and comes from this deep sense of anger."
As for Sanders, Blair said he has "enough problems with my own politics; I don't need to get into yours. I've known Hillary Clinton for over 20 years and I'm a great admirer of hers, so who you elect is up to you."
But on both sides of the ocean, there remains the question the electability of whomever is chosen to bet the party's nominee.
On the right, Blair said the rise of Donald Trump is like the anti-European Union movement in the United Kingdom, as are both "against elites and actually crosses party lines to a degree. It draws new people into politics and again it's about expressing anger at a system people want changing and they feel isn't changing."
And when it comes to envisioning a Trump presidency?
"It depends if he gets the Republican nomination and wins the presidency," said Blair. "Then you think you can't sit here and not envision it. You know, but what people desperately want from the outside, from America, is they want an America that is strong and assertive and engaged that's out there in the world giving the leadership we want to see."
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