Actor Bryan Cranston said Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) “talks from his heart” but America should not “overextend itself” with spending.
Cranston, the star of the television series Breaking Bad, also shared his opinion of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, calling the real estate mogul “refreshing” and “good” for the political process.
Cranston, who stars in the new film Trumbo, was asked where Dalton Trumbo’s political views would fall on the political spectrum today.
“He was a member of the Communist Party of America, to my belief and what I sussed out, he wasn’t a communist – he was a socialist. He loved being rich. He didn’t want to stop being rich but he had tremendous compassion for the poor and the working class,” he said at the Washington premiere of Trumbo. “So he wanted to do what he could to help them and that’s really socialism. Labels are very tricky and can be very dangerous.”
Cranston explained that he personally identifies with fiscally conservative positions but said Sanders, a self-described socialist, is a genuine person who adds value to the presidential race.
“I do like him. I feel that he’s a genuine guy. I think he talks from his heart and his head. I think he makes a lot of sense. I consider myself rather fiscally conservative, however. I don’t think America should over-extend itself in its spending,” he said. “It can’t sustain so I agree with more conservative issues when it comes to finances and more social issues when it comes to those freedoms and civil liberties we fought for.”
Some Republicans and Democrats have said the U.S. could not afford to implement Sanders’ ideas for new government programs.
“But thank God he’s in the race and his ideas are coming up and I think that’s emblematic of Trumbo so it has a place. The message of Trumbo is that this is a wonderful place of freedom so we can have a Dalton Trumbo who talks about workers rights and American communist ideology or we have a Donald Trump who talks from an extreme capitalist point of view,” he said. “Then we have Bernie Sanders and we have Hillary Clinton and we have Marco Rubio, from the full spectrum, and that’s good, good to share all these experiences and let the American people hear everything and decide on their own.”
When asked about Trump, Cranston said, “He’s refreshing. I don’t agree with a lot that he has to say but I think it’s good for politics in general.”
Director Jay Roach said people often forget that Trumbo joined the Communist Party in 1943 when the U.S. was allied with the Soviet Union.
“He mostly joined for what would today be called just progressive, kind of liberal reasons, he was pro-union, he was pro-civil rights and he was anti-fascist and all his friends worked on those issues, and they just all happened to be members of the Communist Party so he joined,” he said.
Roach said Trumbo was mistreated and should not have been blacklisted for his political views.
“The First Amendment protects especially unpopular ideas. There was nothing he was doing that was illegal. They looked into his life extensively and couldn’t find a single thing. None of these writers were doing anything illegal and yet they all lost their jobs,” he said.
“A lot of them lost their homes and marriages. Some people lost their lives – there were suicides – all because people decided they didn’t like their political views and that was about as un-American as you can get, ironically, given that they were being investigated by the House Un-American Committee, so I definitely think he was mistreated.”
Cranston agreed with Roach.
“Dalton Trumbo and other members of the Hollywood 10 and many, many others who were subpoenaed, not all were summoned but hundreds and hundreds of people were under the threat of imprisonment, ordered to answer specific questions that in order to do that meant you discard your First Amendment rights of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, freedom to join any political party you wish,” he said.
“That’s the cornerstone, the foundation of our country was those freedoms. Why they left Europe or wherever else they came from was to free themselves from that kind of persecution.”