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Clinton trades bypass stories with Letterman

Both the former president and talk show host have had heart surgery
/ Source: The Associated Press

Former President Clinton’s visit to the “Late Show” on Thursday gave David Letterman someone to trade heart surgery stories with.

“I hadn’t had any time off in 35 years. I had a good time,” Clinton said as Letterman and the audience laughed. “I just stayed home and read books and watched old movies.”

Clinton had his heart bypass last September. Letterman’s surgery took place in January 2000.

Letterman claimed he was told that members of his cardio team were smoking during his surgery.

“Well, I hope you don’t have a filter in your chest,” Clinton replied.

Letterman: “I may have a butt in there.”

The two also compared medically specific details about what happened during the surgeries.

“People recover in different ways and it’s a very traumatic assault on your body, you know, having your chest bone cut open and your ribs pried apart and all the stuff they do,” Clinton said.

“And then I had that second surgery and one of the things I learned is that even when I thought I was doing well, at unpredictable moments, waves of fatigue would wash over me and I just learned to give in to it, something I’d never done in my whole life,” he said.

Clinton also talked about his friendship with his 1992 election rival, George H.W. Bush. The two former presidents will spend time together at Bush’s summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine later this month, he said.

During a recent appearance together in Houston, Clinton noted that Barbara Bush had taken to calling Clinton “son.”

“I told the Republicans in the audience not to worry, every family has one — you know, the black sheep, kind of drifts off,” he said. “I told them, I said, ‘This just shows you the lengths at which the Bushes would go to get another president in the family and I wish I could get them to adopt Hillary.”’