Damon: I'd kiss Bush
April 19th, 2012
03:21 PM ET
6 years ago

Damon: I'd kiss Bush

(CNN) – Matt Damon put a time cap and stipulation on how he would kiss former President George W. Bush: "Three seconds, no tongue" … All in the name of AIDS Relief.

"I would kiss George W. Bush on the mouth for what he did on PEPFAR," Damon told The Atlantic.

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Damon, who has been an active humanitarian activist specializing on African issues, praised Bush's involvement in PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief that has brought anti-retroviral drugs to AIDS patients in Africa. But the actor and high profile 2008 Obama supporter said he has been "disappointed" by the current administration, pointing to what he saw as an incomplete devotion to poverty and disease prevention in Africa.

"You would have expected that Obama, with his reputation as a pragmatist, would look at PEPFAR, looked at how effective it is, and thought that he should make similar investments in other issues, definitely water and sanitation," the 2008 Obama backer said. "I take issue with a few of the directions Obama has gone in."

PEPFAR was started in 2003 as a $15 billion five year commitment from Bush to fight the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. The program was renewed and expanded in 2008. Shortly after the reauthorization, the Obama administration announced a new approach to the U.S. government's delivery of health assistance, intended to address criticisms of the program, including a lack of coordination between partner countries.

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Filed under: George W. Bush
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Nodack

    I never thought I would see the day that Republicans are attacking Obama for not providing enough free health care to Africans using US tax money.

    I guess it proves that the issues don't matter, only attacking Obama does.

    April 19, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. Ol' Lefty

    Ew, just ew. But this was one of the few things W did that I could support.

    April 19, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. the Situation

    I may have never agreeed on any of Bush 43 Policies but he was and is always good for comic relief!

    April 19, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. The REAL Truth.. (not the imposter)

    @The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth – " There has not been one person on the planet, until YOU, that has not admitted George Bush played a pivotal role."
    Let me step right up then and be the second !!
    George Bush played a pivotal role – in ALMOST destroying America. What with $1.3T deficit in 2008, TWO ongoing UNFUNDED wars in 2008, one of which was started under false pretenses; 53,000 NEW Govt jobs; and $850B Bank bailout – TARP; 700,000 jobs a month disappearing as he left office; Multi-billion dollar no-bid contract awarded to his VP's company, and so on.
    Oh, George Bush was pivotal all right. Nearly destroyed this great country!

    April 19, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. F

    Be careful Bush, I would not kiss Mr. Ripley!

    April 19, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. NRC

    It was good policy, if I remember correctly. Bush and Clinton worked on this together. Not once have we seen Obama ask for Bush to help him get tough things done. Obama likes to go it alone and I think that is why our country is sputtering right now.

    April 19, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. mannycl

    Another wacko comment and in poor taste.

    April 19, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. Patrick

    I could make a crass remark about kissing bush, but i wont

    April 19, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. Myviewis

    Bush, Bush, Bush, let's not forget his fight against malaria by supplying people in Africa with malaria nets.

    April 19, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "Rudy NYC – Damon's words are not well thought out. To his credit, he appears to consumed by the aid organization. Too bad that he's displaying ignorance of DC politics and the toxic atmosphere in Congress when it comes to spending cuts, especially discretionary spending cuts. I don't say this often about people, but Damon is an idiot.
    Rudy, Rudy, Rudy.... how very partisan of you. There has not been one person on the planet, until YOU, that has not admitted George Bush played a pivotal role. It is not Damon that is the idiot here."

    Hey, dopey, Rudy was talking about Damon's criticism of Obama, not his praise for one of the very few things Dubya managed to do that was right.

    April 19, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. bernie

    He's gonna get Bush lash

    April 19, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. ST

    Matt, you should understand that Bush had a different congress/senate from what Obama has at the moment. Bush was lucky that it was not do nothing congress/senate.

    April 19, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. ladyfon

    Well that's because not all of Africa has the resources we do. Every single American gets a free education and provided that you cannot afford it they provide you loans and grants to attend college which leads to higher pay and the ability to buy healthcare. Bet most people that complain they can't afford health insurance have cell phones, cable, and other non necessities. And here is a shock to you, don't have kids if you can't afford to provide them the basic necessities.

    April 19, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. poinpounderthe3rd

    Come on don't hate. This is what Matt likes to do

    April 19, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. Calcommuter

    Skippy Bush probably didnt know anything about it. He kept asking Cheney what is "PEPFAR"? Cheney would tell him to let the grown ups worry about it, gave him a pop tart and sent him to bed. Mr Damon needs to worry about making movies or else his career will be where Affleck has been for years. Nowhere.

    April 19, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. Woman In California

    Listen Damon the president has his hands FULL. I think between the economy and the Afghanstan (sp) his plate is full. If you don't like what he's doing go find Willard.

    April 19, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. JohnDHater

    Hey Matt, would you kiss him for all the lives lost during the faux war in Iraq?

    April 19, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Myviewis

    Bush's fight against Malaria and all the Mosquito nets donated is working, let's be greatful Bush has taken action to help those in real need in Africa, people in countries in Africa do not have an escape, no government to depend on, no 911 they can call on for help as we do in the USA.

    April 19, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. Ronald

    What is so unusual about this...most guys like bush!

    April 19, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Investment Advisor

    Woman in California ...You're back! How is the job hunting going?

    April 19, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  21. M-AZ Independent (A man, not Jesus or a woman)

    Matt, I like you; you're one of my favorite actors, but our current Commander In Chief needs to focus on our country right now. Our economy is stagnant at best, and we are still heavily involved in a war. The President is supportive of helping Africa, but his focus is needed here on the home front. Until the US can get its affairs in the right order, it will not be much good at helping anyone. So lay off Goodwill.

    April 19, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  22. Merry Prankster

    I love Bush, not the ex President.

    April 19, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  23. once upon a horse

    If Obama did more to help Africa then the far right would attack him on that as well. Remeber Glenn Beck said Obama was a RACIST anyway so why even fuel that debate. But if you want LESS help for Africa, then let Romney get into office. See if you'd want to kiss him.

    April 19, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  24. bkgrandma

    I have always been a Matt Damon fan but that all changed when I read this article.
    I thought he had a brain but I guess I was wrong.
    He can go kiss bush and I'll stay home when he is in a movie.

    April 19, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. jasperddbagghost

    Matt Damon is usually a catcher to George Clooney's pitcher.

    (Y)et ?

    April 19, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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