Damon: I'd kiss Bush
April 19th, 2012
03:21 PM ET
2 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. Angie

    President Bush has done for Africa more than any other president – ever. Matt Damon is not the only one praising him, also Bono. The idea that republicans are heartless has been created by democrats who want to keep people in poverty. By a large majority, republicans give more money to charity, and I don't mean rich people, I mean everybody.

    April 20, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Wake up people

    @really?? If you are trying to make a point, why not be truthful? Gas was not 1.80 when President Obama was elected or even inaugurated. Gas hasn't been under $2 at least since 07. And if I remember correctly gas was way over $4 a gallon in the summer of 08, before the POTUS was even elected.
    --------
    Yes, it was the cheap. When Wall Street lost 777 in a single day, the entire global financial system took a major hit. Jobs were dropping like flies during the last 6 months of 2008. Demand for oil dropped by nearly a half world wide.

    But thanks to those things called crude oil futures, there were commitments to purchase "regular" volumes of oil, when there was diminished demand spelled one thing. People unload those futures to anyone who would buy them, and the price of oil dropped more than a half.

    The net result of all of this is that the national average was $1.78 per gallon on Jan. 20, 2009. The resurgence of the price of a barrel of oil and a gallon of gasoline are simply indicators of global economies slowly returning to their former strengths.

    The price of gas argument is just another misleading fact that conservatives knowingly like to throw out there. It is no different from Mitt Romney accusing Pres. Obama of having a "war on women" because women account for 92% of the 4 million jobs lost during the first six months of 2009.

    April 20, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Angie

    President Bush has done for Africa more than any other president – ever. Matt Damon is not the only one praising him, also Bono. The idea that republicans are heartless has been created by democrats who want to keep people in poverty. By a large majority, republicans give more money to charity, and I don't mean rich people, I mean everybody.
    -------------–
    Obviously you missed the point of the liberal comments. Matt Damon is whining about how funding has not been increased under Pres. Obama. By how much do you think we should increase the slice of discretionary spending pie?

    Maybe Matt Damon is smarter than I give him credit for. Now that he has turned on the spotlight, the Tea Party would be unwise to cut that particular slice of discretionary spending. They should bite the bullet and bump it up. But, we all know if the Tea Party can find some path to blame Democats, then they would gut the program in a heartbeat. We're talking about the same people who cut WIC by $500M while keeping over $4B in oil subsidies.

    April 20, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. BeverlyNC

    I thought Matt Damon was smarter and more aware of the disaster of the Bush years. He just lost my respect. Bush was the worst President in our lifetime, took us into a fraudulent war, murdered our soldiers for oil, committed international war crimes on torture, ran our national debt up to record levels, destroyed our economy, and then bailed out the Wall St banks that took us off a cliff. Bush is a shameful example of what Republicans are and what they still are today. Mitt is as stupid as Bush, wants to copy Bush's destructive polices, and is just as much of a joke as Bush.
    No more Republicans. They have destroyed America and betrayed the People one too many times already.

    April 20, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    Dr. Knowitall wrote: on page 3:

    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.
    ----
    "If you are not with us, then you are against us." George W. Bush, 2003 State of the Union address.
    ---------
    He wasn't dividing the nation with that comment, Rudy, and you damn well know it. That comment was directed at foreign nations harboring terrorists who would do the USA harm. Dishonesty, thy name is Rudy.

    April 20, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. John

    I do find in funny that when Bush suggested that we hunt down the men that caused 9/11 the ENTIRE county and world supported him. Yet, when the battle did not end when the media thought it should, everyone blaimed Bush. I'm sorry that the enemy did not bow down to us like they should have. I guess they didn't understand the rules of war! Also, I would have liked to see how anyother man or woman would have done taking office and then 8 months in our country in under attack. That would have changed any Dem. or Repub.'s thinking and how to respond.

    April 20, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    He wasn't dividing the nation with that comment, Rudy, and you damn well know it. That comment was directed at foreign nations harboring terrorists who would do the USA harm. Dishonesty, thy name is Rudy.
    -----------
    I am going to suggest to Spike Lee that he make a new movie using that line as the center piece, "The Greatest Lie Ever Told", starring Matt Damon as a combat vet in Iraq looking for WMDs.

    At least I was able to come up with a quote that was even remotely divisive. Bush drawing the dividing line across the globe. The original charge was Obama makes divisive statements. Like what? You can find the "not born with a silver spoon" in his book that he wrote years ago.

    April 20, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. Rick

    Bush did more for Africa than Obama did. Ironically, Bush also did more for education to. No Child Left Behind was misguided but at least an attempt at reforming public education. Bush also increased the amounts of federal financial aid available through Pell, FSEOG, 9-11 Grant for military veterans and, yes, Stafford Loans/PLUS Loans.

    April 20, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. Mark

    Obama has the unions to give money to and other wasters of our tax dollars. You know you might be in trouble when the Hollywood crowd is deserting Obama.

    April 20, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    @Rick – Obama has done more to combat the terrorism in Africa in one year than Bush ever did during his entire two terms of office. Humanitarian aid has remained the same, despite Tea Party attempts to cut it out of the budget.

    Bush increassed federal dollars to financial aid because he created an entire industry of banking middlemen between the government and students. The increased spending you speak of went to support that cottage industry, with a net drop in scholarship dollars and grants being handed out.

    The student loan was corporate welfare at its' best.

    April 20, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. Gary

    Good, Matt

    April 20, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Mark wrote on page 6:

    Obama has the unions to give money to and other wasters of our tax dollars. You know you might be in trouble when the Hollywood crowd is deserting Obama.
    -----------
    Meanwhile, conservatives advocate for tax cuts for the job creators, who in turn donate millions to conservative politicians and now superPACs, who in turn push and pass legislation creating newer and more creative forms of corporate welfare. The latest incarnation of is has been the privatization of state and local prisons.

    April 20, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. beegee

    Well, Bush didn't have the Tea Party congress that wants to cut everything except farming and oil subsidies. Bush never divided this nation? Please we don't forget....research want he said about activist judges!

    April 20, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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