- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 2, 2012

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Ben Affleck is comparing U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to past campaign losers Al Gore, Michael Dukakis and Bob Dole.

But the actor and director, who has been outspoken in support of Democratic causes in the past, also doesn’t offer full-throated support for President Obama.

“I voted for Obama last time, although he got to be all things to all people then,” Mr. Affleck said in an interview to promote his new film, “Argo.” ”And now he’s got a record, which makes it really different … I obviously have more complicated feelings.”

Mr. Affleck says Mr. Romney’s inability to connect with everyday Americans is reminiscent of past failed candidates.

“I think Republicans really had a chance to win,” Mr. Affleck said. “And they kind of ended up with like a sort of Mike Dukakis-Al Gore-Bob Dole type — who just couldn’t get people to see him as a real person somehow. Romney just had such trouble coming off as just like the kind of person you see at the grocery store. And I truly believe that has cost him the election.”

“It seems quite unlikely, at least if you look at the statistics, that he’s going to pull it out. I think something happens in presidential politics where there’s negative momentum. You start making mistakes, and then all your advisers tell you: ‘You’ve got to raise your arms more!’ ‘You’ve got to talk deeper.’ So people just get into becoming robotic.”

Mr. Affleck’s “Argo,” in theatres Oct. 12, chronicles a joint effort by the CIA and the Canadian government to rescue six Americans from Tehran after the U.S. Embassy was taken over by Islamist militants in 1978.

Mr. Affleck, who has done lobbying in Washington and visited Africa several times for various causes, doesn’t sound much of an optimistic note whatever the outcome in November.

“The world is a very tricky place in terms of foreign affairs. And really, really we’re in very bad shape economically,” he said. “My worry is less about the presidential election than whether or not we’re on a permanent downtrend. That really concerns me. Beyond the Obama administration and whoever the next — the Clinton administration — whoever gets elected next. That’s my main concern.”

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