Hollywood director Rob Reiner warned celebrities against their increasingly vicious anti-Trump rhetoric, claiming that it will only help energize his supporters in the long run.
In an interview with The Hill’s new program, Rising, Reiner argued that Hollywood’s continuous bashing of President Trump makes it easier for him to portray them as out-of-touch elitists.
“If you have any interest in trying to preserve the democracy, and put it in the hands of somebody who understands government, who isn’t self-dealing, who cares about this country and the people in this country, then you’re helping Trump,” Reiner explained.
“You’re helping Trump by saying ‘Fuck Trump,’ because he can say ‘look at these people, these elitists,’” he continued. “There’s a very fine line between energizing the base and energizing the other side.”
Reiner’s comments come a week after veteran actor Robert de Niro unloaded on Trump during an acceptance speech at the Tony Award’s.
“I’m going to say one thing – fuck Trump!” De Niro said, before receiving a standing ovation from the audience. He also recently described Trump as a “mean-spirited, soulless, amoral, abusive con-artist son of a bitch” whose rise to power mirrors that of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
“Right now, if you’re a Democrat and you want to hold this president accountable you have to have some ability, some subpoena power to have hearings and to actually expose certain things, right now you have an enthusiasm gap,” Reiner explained to The Hill’s Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton.
“If you do things like that, that enthusiasm gap narrows because you make the other side more enthusiastic and so it’s not good,” Reiner added. “Plus, that’s not a smart way to talk about anybody.”
Reiner’s comments smack of irony given his own constant harsh criticism of President Trump and his administration. In February, the 71-year-old director called Trump a “mentally ill sociopath,” while calling on Republican “patriots” to take a stand and “end” his presidency.
Just last week, Reiner suggested that American democracy was on the brink of collapse unless Democrats managed to retake control of Congress in the mid-term elections this November.
“[T]he soul of democracy, we’re fighting for it right now and 2018, this November, I’m telling you, a lot is going to go — everybody says this every time, it’s the most important election — this really is,” he said in an interview with MSNBC’s Joy Reid.
“If we don’t have a Democratic Congress that can at least start the hearings to shine some light on what’s been going on, this is the most corrupt presidency in American history,” he lamented. “It doesn’t get any worse.”
Reiner later told The Hill that former Vice President Joe Biden would be a strong challenger to Trump, and would “right the ship” and could put America “back on the world stage in an intelligent and adult kind of way.”