Never one to mince words or hold back his opinions, Gore Vidal says he regrets voting for President Barack Obama last year and calls Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, "the stupidest man in the country" in a wide-ranging interview with The Times of London.
Vidal -- an award-winning novelist, essayist and social critic -- believes Obama is intelligent and not prone to lying, but lets himself be pushed around by the military and needs to exert his authority more. Vidal, 83, adds that Hillary Rodham Clinton would've made a better president.
When asked how Obama is performing, Vidal replied, "Dreadfully. I was hopeful. He was the most intelligent person we’ve had in that position for a long time. But he’s inexperienced. He has a total inability to understand military matters. He’s acting as if Afghanistan is the magic talisman: Solve that and you solve terrorism ... we’ve failed in every other aspect of our effort of conquering the Middle East or whatever you want to call it."
Talking about Obama's efforts at health care reform, he adds, "He fucked it up. I don’t know how because the country wanted it. We’ll never see it happen.”
Make no mistake, he doesn't think Republican Sen. John McCain would do a better job. "(Obama) doesn’t lie. We know the fool from Arizona is a liar," Vidal said. "We never got the real story of how McCain crashed his plane (in 1967 near Hanoi, North Vietnam) and was held captive."
Vidal, who fought in World War II and was friends with John F. Kennedy, said corporate-owned media are subtly preparing the U.S. populace for a war in Iran and widening the conflict in Afghanistan.
But Vidal saves his harshest words for modern-day Republicans.
"Obama believes the Republican Party is a party when in fact it’s a mindset, like Hitler Youth, based on hatred — religious hatred, racial hatred," he said. "When you foreigners hear the word ‘conservative’ you think of kindly old men hunting foxes. They’re not, they’re fascists.”