She also remembered late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's "important, powerful part" in U.S. history

By Sean Neumann
September 23, 2020 03:57 PM
Chelsea Clinton and Jimmy Fallon on 'The Tonight Show'
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Chelsea Clinton told Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday that she believes the 2020 election is "the most important election of our lifetime" and she hopes that's enough to get Americans out to vote on Nov. 3.

"Everything is on the line," Clinton, 40, told the talk show host, "whether it’s basic fundamental human rights, voting rights, civil rights, the environment, gun violence prevention.”

The former first daughter highlighted President Donald Trump's widely criticized handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic after Fallon, 46, asked her for thoughts on the Nov. 3 election, between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

“We’re speaking today on such an ignominious day where we crossed 200,000 Americans who have died of COVID," she pointed out, adding, "I fundamentally believe that most of the people who died would not have died had we a more competent and compassionate, empathetic leader at this moment vs. President Trump, who is none of those things."

Her mother, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, lost to Trump that year after a contentious campaign cycle, despite winning the popular vote.

Four in 10 Americans who were eligible to vote did not cast a ballot in 2016, according to Pew Research Center.

“I know we often say every issue you care about is on the ballot and maybe that hasn’t always been persuasive to people," Clinton said. "But I would hope today with so many thousands of Americans who have lost their lives, and many millions more whose lives have been disrupted, who are grieving lost loved ones, that people realize elections have consequences."

Clinton's sentiments echo criticisms from the Democratic Party in recent months. Biden, 77, said in a Monday campaign speech that the U.S. death toll would be lower "if only the president has acted sooner."

Trump, 74, told Fox News this week his administration should receive an "A-plus" grade for its handling of the novel coronavirus.

Clinton appeared on the Tonight Show to promote the latest book from her She Persisted series and took a moment near the top of the interview to remember the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last Friday.

President Bill Clinton, Chelsea's father, nominated Ginsburg to the high court in 1993.

"My mother first brought Ruth Bader Ginsburg to my father's attention," Chelsea said. "She was such an important, powerful part of our country's story and history. One of the things I most admired about her was just her relentless commitment to, as she said, always be expanding the definition of 'we' in 'We the People.' "