Harvey Weinstein Says on CNN 'Obama's Not Embarrassing; the Country Is Embarrassing'
On Friday night's Piers Morgan Live, Obama donor Harvey
Weinstein excused President Obama's insurance lie as a "mistake" and
called America "embarrassing" for not having "health care" and "a gun
"[T]his is the only the country in the world where we don't have health care. Countries embarrass us around the world. And this is the only country in the world, we don't have a gun law. I watched you, you know, talk about that. You know, quite frankly it's embarrassing. Obama is not embarrassing. The country is embarrassing," Weinstein ranted on CNN.
[Video below. Audio here.]
Even liberal host Piers Morgan said the President "lied" in promising
Americans they could keep their health care plan. Weinstein called it an
error: "He made a mistake. He's human. He made a mistake."
And Weinstein blasted critics for not supporting Obama's "compassion" for the uninsured:
"[T]his is a guy who's got a compassion for 41 million Americans who don't have insurance. I mean, and he's getting – why don't people say things like, 'Can we help you?' as opposed to 'Can we, you know, attack you?' What's wrong with the country?"
Some of those critics are racist, Weinstein added. "I think some of them are, you know, unfortunately," he said. "Because this kind of vitriol is unexplained otherwise." He lamented that "There just looks utter disdain for the President."
Below is a transcript of the segment, which aired on Piers Morgan Live on November 15 at 9:19 p.m. EST:
PIERS MORGAN: Now, whenever we've talked over the last three years or so about President Obama, you've always been massively supportive and I've tended to agree with a lot of what you said. I find it very difficult, this ObamaCare thing. When I see the repeated footage of him standing there saying, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan, just telling an outright porky pie to the American public. I don't like it. It's not the Barack Obama that I expected. Do you feel any sense of disappointment in the way this has gone?
HARVEY WEINSTEIN: Well, I think he said that he made a mistake. But for
me, I look at the idealism behind it. You know, sometimes, you know, I
know in my own industry I can't execute the way I want. The movie
doesn't come out perfectly. Maybe we get it right much later on. But I
mean this is a guy who's got a compassion for 41 million Americans who
don't have insurance. I mean, and he's getting – why don't people say
things like, "Can we help you?" as opposed to "Can we, you know, attack
you?" What's wrong with the country?
MORGAN: Robert Redford was interesting about this, he came out and said that Obama's opponents are paralyzing the system, behaving stupidly. He then went on say this, "I think just the idea of giving credit to this President, giving credit for anything is abhorrent to them," taking up the point you just made. "So, they'll go against it. Never mind that it's the better good of the people, never mind that they're supposed to be in the office representing the interest of the public. They're representing their own self-interests, which is very narrow and, in some cases, bigoted. There is a body of congressional people that wants to paralyze the system. And I think what sits underneath it, unfortunately, is there's probably some racism involved too, which is really awful." Pretty strong words. I mean basically accusing Obama's opponents of being racists.
WEINSTEIN: I think some of them are, you know, unfortunately.
MORGAN: Do you?
WEINSTEIN: Yeah, I do. Because this kind of vitriol is unexplained otherwise. I mean I – luckily for me I've been around the Clinton Administration, and there wasn't vitriol like this. And I've also, you know –
MORGAN: But there was some, wasn't there?
WEINSTEIN: There was but it was much more folksy and Gingrich could laugh, and Clinton could laugh back and, you know, they joked back and forth. There just looks like utter disdain for the President. You know, it's ironic, you know, that we're going to talk about Mandela but I'll bring it up now. I screened the movie for the President and then –
MORGAN: At the White House last week?
WEINSTEIN: At the White House. You know, Mandela was his great hero. When you see this movie and Mandela talks about leadership, he says "Look, I know what you want but I'm not going to do that. I'm going to do the tough thing because I'm your leader." And when you see Mandela sit down with the clerk, these guy -- I mean they put him in prison for 27 years and he forgave them. This country's got to start, you know, acting like – they care about each other.
MORGAN: To a point, I agree with a lot of what you've said. But the point when I don't is I think on this ObamaCare thing, it's not so much there were technical problems with the rollout. That happens in big rollouts. And I'm sure that they will fix that. It's that repeated footage of him not just once but dozens of times telling the American people you can keep your plan and keep your doctor. When it looks like now he knew all along that wasn't possible. It was just an outright falsehood. And I can't remember him doing that so blatantly, and I certainly couldn't imagine Nelson Mandela ever doing that.
WEINSTEIN: Well I think, you know, I don't know what, why or what
happened but he made a mistake. I know that I make mistakes and
everybody else. Let's reverse it for a second. Do you think that if it
was George W. Bush who made the mistake, that Obama would be beating on
WEINSTEIN: I don't think so.
MORGAN: Of course he would.
WEINSTEIN: I don't think so.
MORGAN: You don't think –
WEINSTEIN: No, I don't.
MORGAN: You work in a shark pool yourself. When enemies are vulnerable, you whack him, don't you?
WEINSTEIN: I think, you know, you mean running for an election, you whack him. But I think if it wasn't non-election situation. I think people would be rolling up their sleeves.
MORGAN: What was the mood like in the White House when you were there?
WEINSTEIN: I think, you know, they were excited. You know, to see this movie. You know, and of course, they were number one priority was, you know, helping affordable care and getting people care. I just really think people have lost the plot.
MORGAN: I see. I agree with –
WEINSTEIN: If they don't realize the 41 million Americans running – this is the only the country in the world where we don't have health care. Countries embarrass us around the world. And this is the only country in the world, we don't have a gun law. I watched you, you know, talk about that. You know, quite frankly it's embarrassing. Obama is not embarrassing. The country is embarrassing.
MORGAN: But you can be like me on this Harvey. You can be supportive of the principle of ObamaCare which I am. Coming from a country that has universal healthcare for all. You can support that but you can also be irritated by the rollout failing because it may kibosh the whole thing. But you can also be very, very angry that the President lied. I mean you can be all those things.
WEINSTEIN: He made a mistake. He's human. He made a mistake.
— Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matt Hadro on Twitter.