George Clooney, on the defensive in recent days over his role in helping Hillary Clinton raise millions for her presidential campaign, defended the need for such fundraising as a necessary evil in the current political climate — and said that if Clinton rival bernie Sanders wins the nomination, he’d do what he could to help him get elected — including more fundraisers.
“I think it’s an obscene amount of money,” he told Chuck Todd, the moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It’s ridiculous that we should have this kind of money in politics.” Clooney has been under fire from supporters of Bernie Sanders’ campaign, who reportedly bombarded Clinton’s motorcade with dollar bills as it approached Clooney’s home where one of the fundraisers was held this weekend.
Clooney defended the Clinton campaign’s fundraising process, even as he defended Sanders supporters as being “absolutely right” in their objection to big-money donors. “I think the Clinton campaign has not been very good at explaining this, and this is the truth: the overwhelming amount of money that we’re raising, and it is a lot but the overwhelming amount of the money that we’re raising, is not going to Hillary to run for President, it’s going to the down ballot ticket,” he said.
The actor took the U.S. Supreme Court to task for his role in legitimizing the role of corporate donors in presidential politics. “The Supreme Court can overturn Citizens United and get this obscene, ridiculous amount of money out so I never have to do a fundraiser again,” he said, referring to the Court’s 2011 ruling in the Citizens United case . “I think it’s the worst, one of the worst laws passed since I’ve been around,” he said.
He was dismissive of North Carolina’s so-called bathroom law, considered by many to be discriminatory against transgendered Americans. “I think the law’s ridiculous, of course,” he said. Clooney explained his support for Clinton, which began years earlier during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. “I found her to be knowledgeable and to care about the issues, and we’ve worked together since then, and I’ve been a very big fan of hers,” Clooney said.
But then he added: “I really like Bernie. What he’s saying in this election is important if you’re a Democrat. I hope he stays in for the entire election, and if he were to win the nomination, I will do whatever I can — including, if asked, a fundraiser …”
“Meet the Press” airs Sundays on NBC.