George Clooney agreed with detractors who say he raised an “obscene” amount of money for Hillary Clinton at a pair of California fundraisers.
Clooney and his wife raised about $15 million for the former secretary of State at the events, with the top ticket of $353,400 snagging a donor a pair of seats next to Hillary and the Clooneys at the San Francisco dinner Friday night.
On NBC’s Meet the Press this morning, Clooney noted “we had some protesters last night when we pulled up in San Francisco.”
“And they’re right to protest. They’re absolutely right. It is an obscene amount of money,” the actor said. “The Sanders campaign, when they talk about it, is absolutely right. It’s ridiculous that we should have this kind of money in politics. I agree completely.”
“I went over to try to talk to them and he said I was some corporate shill, which, you know me, that’s one of the funnier things you could say about me. And then he just said, ‘You sucked as Batman,’ and I was like, ‘Well, you kind of got me on that one.’ And then I walked away. And that was — that was basically it.”
Clooney said “the Clinton campaign has not been very good at explaining” that “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 ticket, it’s going to the congressmen and senators to try to take back Congress,” he continued. “And the reason that’s important and the reason it’s important to me is because we need — I’m a Democrat, so if you’re a Republican, you’re going to disagree — but we need to take the Senate back because we need to confirm a Supreme Court justice because that fifth vote on 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. And that’s why I’m doing it.”
Clooney stressed that he doesn’t enjoy fundraisers — “I don’t think anybody does.”
He claimed people who pony up the cash for his fundraisers don’t get special access to the Clintons because “there is a difference between the Koch brothers and us.”
Clooney said he’s been a “very big fan” of Hillary Clinton since she was at the State Department and he was lobbying for South Sudan.
“I found her to know — be knowledgeable and to be very — and to care about the issues and we have worked together since then,” he said. “…But I want to say this. I really like Bernie. I think his — what he’s saying in this election is important if you’re a Democrat, again, to have these conversations. 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 like this — again, to try to keep bringing — to try to give him or her — Hillary, I hope she wins — a Senate because, honestly, we see what happens when a president tries to get their Supreme Court justice confirmed without the Senate.”
“…Trump and Cruz are making this a campaign of fear. We have to be afraid of everything. We have to be afraid of refugees. We have to be afraid of Muslims. We have to be afraid of minorities. And the question is — and this is an important one — are we really going to be scared of the very things that have made our country great?”