George Clooney on Hillary Clinton's Loss: 'I Never Saw Her Elevate Her Game'

Actor says Clinton was "incredibly qualified" for the job but wasn't good at articulating goals

George Clooney says Clinton was "incredibly qualified" for the job but wasn't good at articulating goals. Credit: Walter McBride/FilmMagic, Jewel Samad/Getty Images

George Clooney has his own theory – a straightforward one – about why Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election to Donald Trump.

"Hillary, for years and years and years, has been the presumptive nominee, and quite honestly, she was incredibly qualified for the job," he said in a new interview with the Daily Beast to promote his latest directorial effort, Surburbicon. "But being qualified for the job does not necessarily mean you're the right person to be president. Here's what I mean. She was more qualified than even her husband was when he was elected president, but she's not as good at communicating things. That's simply true. When she got up and gave a speech, it didn't soar."

Clooney, who hosted a fundraiser for Clinton in the lead-up to the November election, added that his faith in the former secretary of state as a candidate was tempered by her lackluster public presence.

"It was frustrating because I never saw her elevate her game," he said. "I never saw it. And I had a lot of liberal friends who were like, 'She's not good at this.' And I see that, and I understand it. I also think, though, that if it was a guy it wouldn't have been so polarizing."

"I think that she wasn't particularly good at articulating the things that she wanted to do, and unfortunately we live at a time right now where articulating what you want to do is more potent in the electorate than the other way around, obviously, when Trump only said he was going to 'Make America Great Again,'" he continued. "Don't you think the next Democrat who runs should just run with a blue hat that says, 'Make America Great Again'?"

In his interview, Clooney also spoke about President Trump's attacks on the media and his attempt to discredit mainstream news as a reliable source of information. In particular, he mentioned a 2014 documentary, Nixon by Nixon, which showed that Trump's efforts to take down the media are nothing new.

"We think it's all unprecedented but it's not unprecedented," Clooney said. "It's a little louder because there more outlets to see it, but it's not unprecedented. You hear Nixon on the tapes talking about [Walter] Cronkite and [Eric] Sevareid and how they're going to sic the IRS on 'em and scare the shit out of 'em. And you see Daniel Schorr, this wonderful reporter who had been doggedly chasing Nixon, in front of Congress testifying about how this administration has set about to delegitimize our news, because if you can delegitimize the news, you can do anything. It’s the exact same thing."