- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 17, 2013

One of Hollywood’s most revered said this week that the recent government shutdown had less to do with Republican objection to liberal policy or reluctance to incur more debt, and more to do with anti-Obama sentiment that rose to the level of racism.

During an interview on CNN, actor and director Robert Redford first expressed sympathy for President Obama: “I think he’s a good man. I think he’s an intelligent man, a compassionate man who can’t function in that environment.”

He then spoke of the partisan atmosphere on Capitol Hill — finding fault especially with those on the right.


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“It’s so divided now with the people that are so narrow and so limited that they would take us back into the past,” Mr. Redford said, as United Press International reported. “And I was trying to figure out, why are these people behaving so stupidly? Why are they behaving so horribly that it’s crippling our whole country?

Mr. Redford, 77, then answered his own question.

“I think it has to do with fear. I think it’s a group of people that are so afraid of change, and they’re so narrow-minded that some people — when they see change coming — get so threatened by change, they get angry and they get terrorized and then they get vicious. I think that’s who these people are. They’re so afraid of change that they’re behaving miserably,” he said, as UPI reported.

And then he dropped the “r-word,” alleging racism.

Mr. Redford said, UPI reported: “There is a body of congressional people that wants to paralyze the system. I think what sits underneath it, unfortunately, is there’s probably some racism involved, which is really awful. I think just the idea of giving credit to this president, giving him credit for anything, is abhorrent to them so they’ll go against it. … They’re representing their own self-interests, which is very narrow and in some cases bigoted.”

Mr. Redford was on CNN to promote his new movie, but talk quickly strayed into the political arena.