John Cusack Rips Obama From Left: 'Continued Imperial Presidency' of Bush

Tuesday's CBS This Morning rolled over and gave movie star John Cusack a platform to spout his leftist political views. Cusack slammed the Obama administration: "The excesses of the Bush administration...[Obama] had a constitutional obligation to correct that, and I don't think they have, and I think that's deeply troubling....They've...continued that imperial presidency of the Bush administration."

Cusack also played up "some of the issues that the Obama administration has with due process and with the assassination of American citizens- this speech by Eric Holder- I think, are deeply troubling," an apparent reference to the use of Hellfire missiles against American-born al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki. Instead of bringing up al-Awlaki's connections to the Fort Hood shooter and plotting attacks against U.S. airliners, anchor Charlie Rose simply replied, "Meaning you expected more from the President and attorney general?" [audio available here; video below the jump]

Anchor Gayle King tossed the actor softball questions as she broached issue of politics near the end of the segment: "Following the political race this year? And what are you thinking? How are you feeling?" Cusack immediately replied with his attack from the left:

John Cusack, Actor; Screen Cap From 17 April 2012 Edition of CBS This Morning | NewsBusters.orgCUSACK: I sort of feel like there's some kind of Rubicon line issues that I hope are addressed that don't have to do with left and right, and some of those issues- some of the issues that the Obama administration has with due process and with the assassination of American citizens- this speech by Eric Holder- I think, are deeply troubling. I think that's beyond left and right.

But from a civil libertarian point of view, the excesses of the Bush administration- I think he had a constitutional obligation to correct that, and I don't think they have, and I think that's deeply troubling for my nephews and for my future.

When Rose followed up with his own softball, the left-wing celebrity continued by tying the current administration with its immediate predecessor:

ROSE: Meaning you expected more from the President and attorney general?

CUSACK: Yeah, I don't think the executive branch- I think that they've, kind of, continued that imperial presidency of the Bush administration with this- these claims to executive privilege.  I thought that speech about the assassination of American citizens- you know, in the name of terror- was, I thought, very, very troubling.

Cusack has a record of usually targeting conservatives. During the 2010 controversy over the construction of an Islamic center/mosque near New York City's Ground Zero, he launched a rant against Fox News on Twitter, which included this outburst: "I AM FOR A SATANIC DEATH CULT CENTER AT FOX NEWS HQ AND OUTSIDE THE OFFICES ORDICK ARMEYAND NEWT GINGRICH-and all the GOP WELFARE FREAKS."


During the 2008 presidential race, the actor cut an anti-John McCain ad for MoveOn.org and railed against the war in Iraq during an interview on NPR: "The ideology behind this war is so radical and it's so destroying the country that I think a somber serious take on it would just add to the sense of depression and inevitable doom that this administration has unleashed on the country."

[H/t: MRC intern Jeff Meyer for working on the transcript and the video/audio clip.]

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center