‘Designated Survivor’: Kiefer Sutherland Weighs In On U.S. Election

"Understanding is something that I have seen lacking in this last campaign."

Kiefer Sutherland in ABC's 'Designated Survivor'
Kiefer Sutherland
plays the president of the United States in the new ABC drama, DESIGNATED SURVIVOR.

But the Canadian actor won’t be permitted to cast a vote in the most heated White House election in history.

That’s okay, he says.

“It’s a big country.  There are a lot of people to do that for me,” Sutherland, 49, tells TheTVPage.com.

The former 24 star is frustrated by what he calls the “name-calling children’s spat” taking place between major party candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

“There was a time when the difference between the Republican party and the democratic party, you could barely cut with a piece of paper,” he says.  “Obviously there are factions on both sides that were farther left and farther right.  I think that was a healthy form of government.  Now I have watched that completely spread apart.”

Sutherland — whose grandfather is the former Premier of Saskatchewan — believes a strong leader should be strong, dignified and compassionate.

“Compassion is certainly something I have seen lacking in this last cycle,” he says.

“Understanding is something that I have seen lacking in this last campaign.  Certainly those aspects of what I think a president should be, he or she, we will be able to articulate those.”

In DESIGNATED SURVIVOR, Sutherland stars as Tom Kirkman, the former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and the who suddenly finds himself thrust into the role of President after an attack on the U.S. Capitol.

He admits there is some irony to a Canadian playing the role.

“But I am honored as an actor to play this part,” he says.  “At the end of the day I would like to be thought of as someone who played the president with the respect I think it deserves and hopefully the integrity as well.  For me it is a fantastic opportunity to be able to play a character like this.”

DESIGNATED SURVIVOR premieres September 21 on ABC.

Sean Daly

Sean Daly

Editor-In-Chief at TheTVPage.com
Sean Daly is a veteran entertainment journalist.His work has appeared in People, Us Weekly, The Toronto Star and other top publications. He was the west coast TV reporter for The New York Post from 2008 - 2013. Sean is the author of Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent and Teen Mom Confidential: Secrets and Scandals From MTV's Most Controversial Shows.
Sean Daly