The “We Bought a Zoo” actor, who was a strong supporter of the president when he was running for election in 2008, once again voiced his disappointment in the commander-in-chief’s leadership.
“I’ve talked to a lot of people who worked for Obama at the grassroots level. One of them said to me, ‘Never again. I will never be fooled again by a politician,'” Damon told the magazine.
“You know, a one-term president with some balls who actually got stuff done would have been, in the long run of the country, much better.”
Damon’s words echoe the President’s own words to Diane Sawyer in March of 2010 when he said, “I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president… There’s a tendency in Washington to think that our job description, of elected officials, is to get reelected. That’s not our job description. Our job description is to solve problems and to help people.”
Referring to the Occupy Wall Street movement, Damon continued: “If the Democrats think that they didn’t have a mandate — people are literally without any focus or leadership, just wandering out into the streets to yell right now because they are so pissed off … Imagine if they had a leader.”
Damon, 41, was one of the biggest Hollywood stars to stump for Obama during his 2008 election campaign.
He attended fund raising events and was vocal in his support for the Democrat who was elected on a mandate of “change” and “hope”.
The actor, whose on-the-ground support in 2008 was crucial for Obama’s in key states, especially Florida, started publicly criticizing the president in March during a CNN interview with Piers Morgan.
“I really think he misinterpreted his mandate,” Damon said. ” A friend of mine said to me the other day, I thought it was a great line, ‘I no longer hope for audacity.'”
Later that month, he hit Obama on his handling of the economic crisis.
“I think he’s rolled over to Wall Street completely. The economy has huge problems. We still have all these banks that are too big to fail. They’re bigger and making more money than ever. Unemployment at 10 percent? It’s terrible,” he told the Independent.
Damon also criticized the President’s inability to get transformative things done, saying, “They had a chance that they don’t have any more to stand up for things. They’ve probably squandered that at this point. They’ll probably just make whatever deals they can to try to get elected again.”
In August, the star ripped a cameraman and reporter from a conservative publication who challenged his stance on education at a Save Our Schools event in Washington, DC. He then moved on to economic policy criticism.
“The wealthy are paying less than they paid at any time else, certainly in my lifetime, and probably in the last century,” Damon told a reporter at the same event.
“I don’t know what we were paying in the Roaring ’20s; it’s criminal that so little is asked of people who are getting so much. I don’t mind paying more. I really don’t mind paying more taxes.”
“I’d rather pay for taxes than cut ‘Reading is Fundamental’ or Head Start or some of these programs that are really helping kids. This is the greatest country in the world; is it really that much worse if you pay 6% more in taxes? Give me a break. Look at what you get for it: you get to be American.”
Speaking of the then-protracted negotiations over the debt ceiling, he did show some sympathy for Obama.
“I’m so disgusted,” he said. “I mean, no, I don’t know what you do in the face of that kind of intransigence. So, my heart does go out to the President. He is dealing with a lot.”
Damon’s criticism has not gone unnoticed by Obama. In May the president used the actor’s comments as material for his speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington, D.C.
“I’ve even let down my key core constituency: movie stars,” Obama told the crowd. “Just the other day, Matt Damon — I love Matt Damon, love the guy — Matt Damon said he was disappointed in my performance. Well, Matt, I just saw The Adjustment Bureau, so…right back atcha, buddy.” [via Huffington Post, The Telegraph and The Holywood Reporter]