Obama and Hollywood: The Honeymoon Is Over

Damon is latest celebrity on the left to express disappointment in president.

ByABC News
March 4, 2011, 9:51 AM

March 4, 2011— -- The honeymoon is apparently over.

Actor Matt Damon, one of the liberal elite's first celebrity Obama backers, told CNN's Piers Morgan Thursday that he has been disappointed in President Obama's performance.

Asked if he was happy with the man he once so vocally supported, the actor responded, "No. I really think he misinterpreted his mandate. A friend of mine said it the other day and I thought it was a great line: 'I no longer hope for audacity,'" a take on Obama's "Audacity of Hope" book title.

On Afghanistan, Damon said he doesn't believe the "mission there has been very well articulated. And I think it would help to kind of reframe the way we're thinking about being there and why we're there."

But Damon is not the first -- nor, surely, will he be the last -- of Obama's high-profile Hollywood supporters to express disappointment in the president's accomplishments.

Barbra Streisand appeared on "Larry King Live" -- hosted by Morgan's predecessor -- in December where she complained about both Obama specifically and Democrats in general.

She conceded that Obama "has an open mind; he has an open heart. And he's cool and he's very smart." But Streisand said she was disappointed in him for not having "used his executive privilege ... to get rid of 'don't ask, don't tell,'" the policy barring openly gay Americans from military service.

Streisand said she went to Europe during last year's midterm elections because she didn't want to be around for a "bloodbath."

The substantial losses her party suffered were a result of "a mistake on the Democrats' part that they have not gotten their message across in communicating all that they have done that is good," she said

Her take on the tax-cut compromise? "I mean, I'm one of those people who are going to benefit," she replied. "But it's not fair to working people in America. It's just not fair."

Of course, Hollywood is hardly a monolith. And many of the president's supporters continue to stand by their man, among them George Clooney and Oprah Winfrey.

Appearing on "Morning Joe" with Joe Scarborough last month, Winfrey -- a longtime ardent supporter -- urged Obama's critics to show some level of respect" for the president, even when they disagree with him.

"I believe that what he really wants is for this country to be greater, stronger more innovative. Those principles are what really enforces his beliefs," the queen of daytime TV said, quipping that, "Everybody complaining ought to try [being president] for a week."

Damon, for his part, expressed a different sentiment Thursday. On the president's State of the Union address last month, Damon said, "He's doubled down on a lot of things. ... He didn't even say the word 'poverty.' You've got millions of people languishing in it."