Hollywood actor and Biden ally George Clooney has compared America to a ‘battered child’ after ‘knucklehead’ Donald Trump’s divisive four years in the White House and sensationally claimed that the former President ‘can’t stand his own supporters in real life’.
Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show in a pre-recorded interview, the Left-wing Democrat – a friend of both the President and Barack Obama – said Americans ‘have been rather tough on one another’ for the past five years and added ‘there’s a lot of healing that has to happen and it’s going to take time’.
Clooney – a 60-year-old father who is married to Lebanese human rights lawyer Amal, herself 43 – also discussed Joe Biden’s waning popularity among US voters while promoting his upcoming film The Tender Bar, which stars Ben Affleck and explores life in 1970s small-town America.
A new poll by Quinnipiac University found just 38 percent approve of Biden’s job performance. Though 48 per cent of voters said they approve of the President’s aggressive approach to Covid including his push for vaccine mandates, less than 40 per cent gave him positive marks on his handling of the economy, his foreign policy and his handling of immigration.
But Clooney appeared to blame the era Trump for much of the division in American society and compared the US to a ‘battered child’. He also suggested that Biden shouldn’t pay much attention to poll numbers, pointing out that Trump’s approval ratings also rose and fell.
‘I mean, you can’t – it’s like taking a battered child and thinking everything’s going to be ok on his first day in school. There’s a lot of things that have to be repaired, there’s a lot of healing that has to happen and it’s going to take time,’ Clooney said.
‘Poll numbers come up and go down, I would expect them to go back up again. Donald Trump’s numbers went up and down.’
George Clooney appearing on the BBC1 current affairs programme, The Andrew Marr Show, in a pre-recorded interview
Left: Joe Biden gestures upon his arrival at Chicago O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinos, October 7, 2021. Right: Donald Trump on March 26, 2019
George Clooney and Barack Obama during a press conference in Washington DC on April 27, 2006
Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, the Left-wing Democrat – a friend of both the President and Barack Obama – said Americans ‘have been rather tough on one another’ for the past five years and added ‘there’s a lot of healing that has to happen and it’s going to take time’
When Marr put it to him that Trump was ‘prowling around in the rhododendrons’, Clooney responded: ‘He’s gonna be a factor for a while.
‘It’s so funny because he was just this knucklehead, I knew him before he was a president. He was just a guy who was chasing girls. Every time you went out, he’d come over and be like: ‘What’s the name of that girl?’ That’s all he was.
And the idea that there’s this whole group of people that, you know, that they think he’s the champion of which, he certainly can’t stand in real life.
‘He’s gonna play this out for a while and we’ll see where we go with it as a country. My hope is that we have a little better sense than to do that again, my hope.’
Asked whether he would ever work in US politics, the 60-year-old said: ‘No, no, no because I would actually like to have a nice life.
‘I turned 60 this year you know, and I had a conversation with my wife and I said – we were working a lot, as we both do – and I said, we have to think of these as the halcyon years.
‘If we have our health, which we do – knock on wood for a minute – and I’m 60 and I can still play basketball and still do the things I love. But in 20 years I’ll be 80 and that’s a real number. It doesn’t matter how much you work out, what you eat – you’re 80. And so I said: ”We have to make sure we enjoy and live these years in the best possible way.”’
Clooney previously compared the Trump era to McCarthyism, a term originating from the anti-Communist witch-hunt against the Left led by Senator McCarthy in the 1950s which now more broadly refers to the practice of making baseless accusations of treason.
Receiving an honorary award at the César Awards in Paris in early 2017 – just weeks after Trump’s inauguration – Clooney said: ‘I was thinking about Edward R Murrow as we find ourselves nostalgic for when America was great and when the news wasn’t fake. Maybe his words some 60 years can help put things in perspective.’
He then pieced together quotes from one of Murrow’s most famous telecasts which saw him rebuke McCarthy back in 1954 on CBS.
Clooney appears as a guest on the Andrew Marr Show at the BBC Broadcasting House in Manchester
Of the president’s job as commander-in-chief, 37 per cent of poll respondents approved while 58 per cent disapproved
Public opinion soured for Biden after his frenzied withdrawal from Afghanistan that left 13 Americans dead in the aftermath. Biden also caught heat for skyrocketing numbers of migrants at the southern border that have led to overcrowded facilities
‘We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must not walk in fear of one another,’ Clooney said.
‘We must not be driven by fear into an age of unreason. If we dig deep in our history and remember that we are not descendants from fearful people, we proclaim ourselves indeed as we are the defenders of freedom wherever it continues to exist in the world. But we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.
‘The actions of this president have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create this situation of fear, he merely exploited it – and rather successfully. ‘Cassius was right. ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.’ Good night, and good luck.’
Clooney, who supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, also branded Trump a ‘Hollywood elitist’ and expressed his support for actress Meryl Streep after her criticism of him at the Golden Globes.
Public opinion soured for Biden after his frenzied withdrawal from Afghanistan that left 13 Americans dead in the aftermath. Biden also caught heat for skyrocketing numbers of migrants at the southern border that have led to overcrowded facilities.
The Department of Homeland Security is preparing for as many as 400,000 to arrive at the southern border, nearly double the 21-year high seen in July.
Meanwhile, Democrats are scrambling for a way to raise the nation’s debt limit without help from Republicans, after they’ve had to push aside Biden’s $3.5trillion budget reconciliation plan.
Progressives will not allow the House to pass another $1.1trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill until the Senate passes the $3.5trillion plan, but moderate Democrats Joe Manchin, W. Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, Ariz., have said they will not support a number that high.
The president, knowing the fate of the two spending bills will come to define his presidency, is trying to negotiate a path between the two factions of his party and has conceded the overall price tag will have to come down.
The poll also reflects a notable decline in public opinion of the president’s character. Only 49 per cent now believe the president cares about average Americans, when in April that number was 58 per cent.