Bridges takes chilled approach in heated political rhetoric

AP News
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Posted: Jun 28, 2017 6:20 PM
Bridges takes chilled approach in heated political rhetoric

Jeff Bridges played a president in "The Contender," a political flick released nearly two decades ago in the wake of President Bill Clinton's White House scandals.

But when it comes to critiquing the role of today's real-life president, Bridges is a lot more laid back than some of his fellow celebrities. How would The Dude, the character he played in "The Big Lebowski," handle things?

He likely wouldn't be dangling a severed head in the likeness of President Donald Trump, as comedian Kathy Griffin came under fire for. Neither would The Dude joke about killing the president as Johnny Depp recently did. Griffin and Depp later apologized.

"Everybody has something different and unique to contribute to society and with different ways of doing it," Bridges said in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press, after taking part on a panel focused on child hunger at a meeting of the Western Governors Association in Whitefish, Montana.

"Some people will be blatantly out there talking about their disappointments and ridiculing the way President Trump is acting," said Bridges, who supported Hillary Clinton in last year's election.

"I'm rooting for him to do well by our country," he said. "I'm rooting for him as a human being to do the cool thing," Bridges said, as he pivoted back to his work against childhood hunger.

Bridges said he is especially concerned about proposed cuts to federal food assistance programs, which he said could harm the well-being of more children.

The actor has been an ambassador for "No Kid Hungry " campaign, a national effort to address food insecurity among struggling families.

He founded the End Hunger Network in 1983 and became the national spokesman for No Kid Hungry in 2010.

Bridges splits his time between homes in Southern California and Montana. He has helped Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and the state's first lady, Lisa Bullock, on expanding school breakfast programs.

"The health of our children is a wonderful compass that can tell us if our country is going the right direction," he said. "That means we're off course, so I'm rooting for the president to get on course."