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. Data Driven

    I think Damon's a terrific actor, and I generally agree with his politics. I know he has his pet cause. But this morning I saw two homeless people begging for money in front of a suburban Starbucks in San Diego.

    First things first.

    April 19, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  2. mike

    If Damon wants to do some real good, why doesn't he help poor Americans first ? Charity begins at home. If Africa slid into the sea tomorrow, nobody would miss it.

    April 19, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Dr. Knowitall

    It is a shame that libs won't admit how much of a better peron GW is than the big O.
    Case and Point !
    George Bush never once belittled anyone, rich or poor in public. BO tries to divide our nation with his directed comments every chance he gets on national TV. BO is not a leader we should be proud of. It is time to unite instead of divide.

    April 19, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. T'sah from Virginia

    ... and President Obama/VP Biden continued the effort so, what??

    April 19, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. Dr. Knowitall

    Sniffit you and BO are two of a kind. You have no kind words for any one that disagrees with your point of view. It is time for BO to do some soul searching and learn to be a leader of men instead of a divider..

    April 19, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    ►BO is not a leader we should be proud of. It is time to unite instead of divide.◄

    You really believe this country is united? it took electing President Obama to bring all of the "hate" out to the surface. Now that the racist and bigots are exposed, the rest of the country WOULD unite; and trust me, the united would surely outnumber the racist and bigots.

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    April 19, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. Thomas

    Matt , what about AIDS Relief world wide ?

    You need to look at Bush's Foreign Policy as a whole , not just in what benefits your altruistic purpose .

    Imagine what could have been accomplished with the money spent on two wars . Not to mention Americas credibility towards humanitarian policy .

    Never the less , give Bush a kiss and let us know how he kisses !

    April 19, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. V in Chicago

    I am an Obama supporter!!!

    But, I think GW got a bad rap for his Presidency. His strings were being pulled by Daddy's pals (Rove, Cheney, Kochs, etc.) and GW had to take the fall out over it. He wasn't much of a diplomate or statesman, but I bet he would be a blast to hang out with!! I do, however, admire the fact that he said he was going to stay away from politics when his second term was done and he's done just that. I guess he's smarter than most gave him credit for. . .

    April 19, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. Toronto-Roy Singh

    Matt Damon my brother from another mother, u r doing a great job my friend, keep it up. All the best to you.

    April 19, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. Tony

    Like several of the previous posts, I generally agree with Matt Damon on many issues.

    However, GWB did involve himself in any cause that I can think of out of genuine compassion. Like so many currently in the GOP, his concern for his fellow man was/is wanting.

    Remember the collapse of the American and World Economies in late 2008 (just before the election) Matt? That changed everything, and we still have not recovered! It is difficult for the President to get Unemployment Compensation, AFDC, and Headstart funds approved in Congress; much less huge expenditures approved for investment in Africa or any other area of the world.

    Matt needs to stop focusing so much on a single issue, and look at the big picture. We cannot afford any more GOP appointments to the Supreme Court, further reductions to Medicare/Medicaid and the threatened dissolution of Social Security.

    Get back on the bus Matt!

    April 19, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  11. Scott

    GWB has done more to advance the Democrats agenda than any three people I can think of.

    April 19, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. david esmay

    Bush is trying to make up for the 900,000 Iraqi widows he and Cheney created in their fabricated oil grab.

    April 19, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  13. JD

    T'sah from Virginia, I agree. It brought your hate right to the surface. You are part of what you criticize. A sad person filled with too many character flaws to ever being a constructive participant to the conversation about moving foward.
    Thanks for making it clear what you are.

    April 19, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  14. ryan

    Bush did do a few things right. That said though, I'm glad he's retired.
    Obama 2012!

    April 19, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  15. simpleman25

    Everybody, whether it nauseates you or not, praise Matt for his humanitarian efforts. The net effect of Matt's efforts are positive whether or not you agree on the focus of his efforts! Quit utilizing Rush and Oberman tactics by turning everything into a negative. America's state of welfare is not Matt Damon's fault!

    April 19, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  16. S.S

    GW Bush did great stuff with AIDS prevention especially in Africa and he deserves full credit for saving millions of lives. But when his good faith was in Africa, the evil aka Cheney was left un-checked to wage wars in order to pay back political contributions. All his efforts were tainted by those close to him except his family of course. Dick Cheney the worst, Rumsfied pure evil, and the list goes on and on

    April 19, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  17. PriceG3

    Congratulations to Mr. Damon for praising a good action in a man with whom he disagreed; and for criticizing a man he admires. He's got more courage than anyone on the Hill at the moment. A tip of the hat to you, sir; you are a gentleman.

    April 19, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  18. Rogue351

    George W. Bush could never do enough good to make up for what he and Dick Cheney have done to the United States of America. No matter how much money, time or effort Bush put into anything he will never be able to undo the past. Bush and Cheney should both consider them themselves lucky they both where not prosecuted in a world court. These two failures did not only affect their time in office it has fueled anew kind of Republican and a greater than ever separation of this country. People like Glenn Beck Rush and Hannity are so rabid to defend anything Republican it because of the actions of these two it is separating our nation like never before. Remember solutions are very seldom found are the radical ends but ore often found in the moderate middle. With the current Republican mind set they stand to be the down fall of the greatest nation on earth.

    April 20, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  19. Gop

    I love this Matt has something nice to say about Bush and the liberals start talking trash about him as if he were a Republican. It again proves the point that people that are liberal just hate any one that is unlike them or even agrees with someone unlike them. Sorry Matt but welcome to our world.

    April 20, 2012 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  20. Rachel

    George W Bush has a heart with so much compassion and strength. History will judge... We will all see the difference, and believe me, there is a difference in leadership when it comes to being strong and courageous!!! We the people need this type of leadershp in every aspect so that we can continue to be the world's example of freedom and democracy..

    April 20, 2012 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  21. Iamnotfooled

    Matt--President Obama is kind of busy taking care of his own in case you have not noticed. While I agree it was good of Bush - he never had to deal with the mess he left President Obama. Do you really think with this polarized Congress President Obama could get much out of them? The Republicans only take care of the rich -President Obama is the warrior of the middleclass and poor. We have children going hungry here - why don't you help them? The administration is right to get other countries to help.

    April 20, 2012 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  22. Tom Mix

    God bless George Bush for his service to our country. He is a good man whom I respect.

    April 20, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  23. c

    Thomas, you mean the two wars that democrats overwhelmingly supported as well

    April 20, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  24. SUBS 4 VOTES

    I thought you righties were all for cutting off foreign aid. $15 billion is alot of money. Bush put everything on the creit card, I bet this wasn't paid for as well.

    April 20, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  25. RealityBites

    Bush freed 65 million people from the tyranny of oppressive governments and gave them a viable chance at freedom..
    Obama is furthering the oppressive nature of our government which is blindly oppressing millions of Americans.

    April 20, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
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