Bill Clinton said it’s ironic that his wife is being cast as an establishment politician.

When she was first lady in the 1990s, Republicans portrayed her as a “liberal” liability, he said, history young voters are unfamiliar with.

“Absolutely, she is totally consistent,” the former president told USA TODAY.

“When people are upset they need to blame and label,” said Clinton. Young Democrats in particular “have no idea how hard it is” to try and govern as a senator.

“I understand why they’re mad, but they ought to have a debate,” he said. “Only thing that matters is they’re more empowered than they were before, they have a better life and we’ve made positive changes,” he said, in an apparent appeal to young women in particular.

The Clinton campaign is making a concerted effort to reach young women as polls show the former secretary of State struggling with this demographic ahead of Tuesday’s primary vote.

Republicans, said Clinton, have cast Hillary Clinton both ways — as liberal and as establishment — depending on politics, he said.

As secretary of State, “the Republicans all respected her. And now they’ve changed their tune that she’s running for president,” he said.