Conservative actor Stephen Baldwin on Thursday complained that politics had become too divisive and extreme, but then accused President Barack Obama “pimping” to pass health care reform.
During an interview on CNN, Baldwin reflected on a recent shooting at the Family Research Council headquarters and called for “common-sense, regular-Joe philosophy.”
“I think that there is a right and left, and then a very conservative perspective about what the future of the country is,” the actor explained. “And there’s a progressive movement that wants what it wants. And we are now seeing all of these types of difference coming to extreme heads and confrontations.”
“It makes it sound like you’re saying that the hostility and the tenor and the tone is it only going to ratchet up,” CNN host Soledad O’Brien noted. “You’re saying, harsher this way, harsher that way, and it bubbles into much more of a clash and an angry rhetoric and worse than angry rhetoric.”
“Yeah,” Baldwin agreed. “Obviously, we’re seeing more and more violence. Where is that coming from?”
The New Yorker‘s Richard Socarides pointed out that on some things, like LGBT rights — which the Family Research Council opposes — there seemed an emerging majority supporting basic fairness for everyone.
“There is a shift,” Baldwin admitted. “But at the same time you have organizations like Family Research Council that say, ‘Okay, but what about traditional? What about the foundations of what has been the origins of and the establishment of this country?’ It doesn’t mean don’t try to do the right thing.”
Baldwin — who once had a leading role in the film “Threesome,” which depicted him in a sexual relationship with a woman and a gay character — became a born again Christian after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 and now opposes equal rights for LGBT people.
O’Brien reminded Baldwin that he had referred to Obama a “gangster,” “homey,” and a “liar.”
“I call ’em like I see them,” the actor replied. “There was a political move by this president to get health care passed that was in my perception was criminal. Meaning, on a common-sense level. You don’t go do a deal behind everybody’s back and, you know, work the system and, you know, pimp it out, so to speak, in order to get your way.”
“So, you are, though, comparing the president to a pimp in those words?” O’Brien wondered.
“No,” Baldwin replied. “What I’m trying to clarify it, is simply by saying he did something and made a move that most people on a common-sense level would say, was that really the right way to get that done?”
Watch this video from CNN’s Starting Point, broadcast Aug. 16, 2012.