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. PuzzledInPeoria

    There's something incongruous about a President who supports AIDS relief and at the same time supports torture (waterboarding). That's humanitarianism? Let's not forget the rush to war in Iraq, with trumped up claims of WMDs. Wasn't it Matt Damon a couple months ago who claimed he would have singlehandedly ended the Vietnam War?

    April 20, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  2. Obama Eats Dog. Ew ReallY!!?

    Real Said "Oh, George Bush was pivotal all right. Nearly destroyed this great country!"
    Along comes Obama who puts the nail in the coffin on this country.
    -Obama inherited 7.2% unemployment now 8.2% after spending over $5Trillion taxpayer dollars.
    -U complained about the $1.78 Trillion dollar deficit. Well Obama got Bush beat on that too with over $3Trillion in deficit on his budget.
    -Obama inherited $1.80/gallon gas. It is $4+ and climbing.
    -Obama inherited a bad housing economy and made it worse
    -Obama inherited 45% poverty rate now it s 47%
    So let's all give a resounding applause to your guy President Obama for selling u the snake oil of Hope and Change!

    April 20, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  3. Eric

    Someone should explain to Damon that normal guys dont do that sort of thing, Its great to show admiration when it may not be popular with your hollywood liberal buddies...but the male kissing ideas show be left in Hollywood.

    April 20, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  4. Al-NY,NY


    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..

    there goes my coffee!!! Eggs and bacon comin' up next!!

    April 20, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  5. Lucky18

    Damon doesn't realize, Bush had much more money to play with than the current administration. Bush blew it all on two wars and put this country into unbelievable debt!
    Damon should sit down and think, before he opens his mouth to the world!
    Maybe Damon should ask China, just like Bush did!

    April 20, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  6. Jon

    T-SAH: Actually, Obama was not president until 2009. GW renewed it in 2008. Study up on your American Government.

    April 20, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  7. Voiceinthewind

    Yep I would slip a couple of live hand gernades in his pockets and get out of there fast. I would be doing America and the world a Favor by getting rid of this lying, greedy, thief that banckrupted America and its people. Its just to bad it would not be at a family gathering where I would be able to wipe out the entire Shrub clan.

    April 20, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  8. Nobodies Pon

    Hold up GWB respect and good man are you serious. This man was the american version of Hitler and that is not a joke. Two wars based on lies. Homeland security, Patriot Act, Terror Alerts do people have short memories or what. Nothing good happened to this country the entire 8 years this guy was in office. The great recession, Katrina, Bush has this nation under a curse that is still active.What he did in 8 years its going to take 20 to fix.

    April 20, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  9. ReallY!!?

    Obama went after charities to try and stomp them out! Why would he give a rats patootie about anyone else but himself and getting re-elected. He will divide and throw this country into the most hateful place just to get stay in the the White House.
    "Not blue states and red states but United States" Yeah right!
    Now its "it's Bushe's fault, the Rich fault, the arab spring's fault, the republican" fault for everything!

    April 20, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  10. Eric

    That kissing comment was just a shout to his liberal buddies so the wouldn't appear to like Bush too much. Just like the script calls for...

    April 20, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  11. Stef

    This headline is misleading. I was thinking of a different bush...

    April 20, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  12. Nobodies Pon

    A major terrorist attack.on american soil 3000 americans died on your watch President Bush. Fans of Bush this guy is so gulity he wont show his face in public and wont endorse the republican canidate. He is the least visiable former president in recent history. He is gulity and he knows it. Thats why he hides at his ranch.

    April 20, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  13. quinLee

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

    Richard: So never mind the fact that the whole case for war presented by Bush et al was strictly bogus. Why do you people continuously go to hell and back to find an azz backwards answer to everything. You should be tired of being on the wrong side of every issue by now.

    April 20, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  14. sulfidesmolder

    To all the people saying Damon should worry about the poor in america first... I just want to say that the poor in america have opportunity; I once met a field worker who became a neurosurgeon. Those that he wants to help have far far far less.

    April 20, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  15. jaso n

    I don't think he was talking about george bush but bush in general 😉

    April 20, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  16. Taylor

    Matt you need to start in your own back yard....USA than talk about it.

    April 20, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  17. coy4one

    During the recession, a lot of government-sponsored charity efforts have suffered. Remember, we had to give the money to the auto and banking industries, right? However, Presidents can give moral support when the money isn't there and help to create a public response. We'll see what happens, when the economy turns around. Last year was my least amount of charity donations too, but I can see 2012 being better already.

    April 20, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  18. Taran

    @JD spot on. There are a few individuals like TSAH on here regularly that show they are the same quality.

    April 20, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  19. Tim

    I understand Matt's criticism of the president but to me it just means the president is doing a good job. When you can make both people dislike you a little it means you are governing from the center. As someone mentioned above, with everyone on the right screaming about the budget (funny they were silent from 00-08 about spending) the President had reevaluate a few things. Plus doesn't the article says the current administration had to investigate the program because there were issues with how the assistance was being managed by the countries involved?

    April 20, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  20. benjamin

    Who cares what Matt Damon thinks or says?

    April 20, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  21. Peter

    To the people who say GW is a better person than Obama, I think you need to be reminded how many people have died at the command of GW to start two unnecessary wars, not to mention how he and his cronies planned and executed 9/11.

    April 20, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  22. Rudy NYC

    ReallY!!? wrote on page 4:

    Obama went after charities to try and stomp them out!
    No, he didn't. In case you have not noticed, Damon is not complaining about cuts in funding to the program he works with. He's complaining about no funding increases, which is pretty short sighted in our current economic atmosphere in DC.

    I hope he didn't just put a budget bullseye on his charitable work when it comes time for the Tea Party to cut a trillion dollars worth of spending. The Tea Party only has eyes on discretionary spending, and Libertarians like Ron Paul would stop the funding for the program altogether.

    April 20, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  23. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

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

    And here we have another Bushnesiac who can't remember basic history, like how Bush, Cheney and their gang rigged the intelligence and fed it to Congress, the media and the public in order to con them into supporting an utterly unnecessary war. Seek help for your Bushnesia, it's spreading rapidly among your GOBP cult, which is particularly susceptible to Bushnesia.

    April 20, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  24. Morpunkt

    I'm sick of Hollywood star's opinions. They almost all belong to the "Church of the Chic and Popular", which is run by the Liberal Establishment. Disagree with them at the risk of your own career. Stick with acting, Matt. And be your own man. That's if you're a true risk taker.

    April 20, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |

    Ricky Santorum or Ooops Perry would relish that kiss from Matt.

    April 20, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
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