Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore told BBC's Richard Bacon that most of President Barack Obama's first term had been "heartbreaking" and a "disappointment."
"He did not come into office like I hoped that he would," Moore admitted. "To to do what Franklin Roosevelt did in his first few months, where he came in and said, 'You know, I'm in charge. This is the way we're doing things. If you don't like it, throw me out of office.'"
Moore lamented that Obama had spent too much time trying to appease Republicans.
"He spent three years -- if we can just go back to the sports analogies -- running the ball in the wrong direction," Moore said. "Now, we are in the last quarter of his first term and he's actually come alive. He's actually now standing up and his Justice Department is going after some of the banks. He's trying to stop a big corporate merger. And he's putting forth jobs bills that make sense now. I don't know why he waited until the last year of these four years to do that, but it is somewhat heartening now to see that he's come around. And let's hope that he can pull it off."
"Do you think his initial approach -- he's a very pragmatic fellow, isn't he?" Bacon asked. "And he does and he did try to find common ground with the Republicans. And yet politics viewed certainly from this distance, in America, seems almost unbelievably tribal. Do you think there was essentially a naivety to his approach when he got that job?"
"Well, it was either that or he actually believed in a lot of what they believe in," Moore explained. "Goldman Sachs was his number one contributor, and the first thing he did was appoint these two guys, Larry Summers and Tim Geithner, to run our economic policy here. And these are guys that were completely in the pocket of Wall Street. So he set out right from the beginning -- I mean, Wall Street set the tone and set the policy."
"So, he might actually just believe that. That may be just the sad, sad part about Barack Obama, that not that he's too timid or that he's too compromising, but he actually believes in a lot of what they believe in. I hate to say that."
Listen to this audio from BBC's Radio 5, broadcast Oct. 24, 2011.
(H/T: The Hollywood Reporter)