Martin Sheen: Donald Trump is a ‘self-serving, arrogant, stupid lunatic’

Martin Sheen, Donald Trump. Jason LaVeris/SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Former West Wing president Josiah Bartlet (a.k.a Martin Sheen) has some strong words for presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

On-set in Toronto shooting the upcoming Anne of Green Gables movie, Sheen opened up to Global News about the 2016 U.S. presidential election, calling Trump a “fascist” and a “self-serving, arrogant, stupid lunatic.” [Ed. Note: This interview took place two days before the now-infamous leaked Access Hollywood tape.]

Sheen, 76, finds it a huge “relief” to be in Canada filming while things get uglier and uglier south of the border.

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“It’s a relief. It’s a relief. You people are so sensible,” Sheen said. “I’ve said it before when people ask me if I like Canada, I always say ‘it’s a relief to get away from the land of the lunatics.’ The land of lunacy, where guns are an object of our affection. Please. To know that you’re not armed, and he’s not armed, and you’re not going to shoot me for a nickel, for your honour, or you’ve been dissed … it’s a relief.”

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Sheen plays the lovable Matthew Cuthbert character in Anne of Green Gables, a thoroughly wholesome three-part movie set to air its first segment on PBS in the U.S. during Thanksgiving. (The first part has already aired in Canada, with parts two and three to come to YTV in 2017.) It’s a departure from modern TV fare, which is rife with violence and sex — a point not lost on Sheen.

“We see this [tragedy in Syria], and we’re numb to this kind of violence, because we’re watching such violent TV. We’re watching all this crap,” he said. “It’s [like it’s] not happening because you’re not touched by it. You can tune in and out, choose it or not, you can have an opinion or not. But you cannot walk away from Aleppo, Iraq and Iran.”
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Sheen has a soft spot for Aleppo, Syria, where he spent three days after filming the 2010 movie The Way. From there, the conversation turned political, and more specifically, to GOP candidate Trump.

With wide eyes and his voice raised, Sheen didn’t mince words.

“I’m worried about this damn lunatic,” he said. “People ask me what I think of him, and I always say ‘I try not to!’ It’s scary, this fascist. As if we don’t know what a fascist is … you know what, we don’t. We might find out the hard way what it’s like to live under fascism.

“‘Don Trump,’ as I call him, he is a very clear reality to the old adage: Arrogance is ignorance matured. It’s troubling that half my fellow citizens think he’s the best, that he has leadership qualities. This self-serving, arrogant, stupid lunatic. He thinks he’s charming.”

Sheen goes on to blame American culture for Trump’s rise and what — until the latest polls — have been neck-and-neck poll numbers.

“That idiocy of me, me, me, mine,” said Sheen. “It’s not about community, it’s not about sharing, it’s about ‘Oh, look at him, he did it his way.’ One of the nicest tunes ever, but one of the worst songs ever written, is Frank Sinatra’s My Way. You did it your way, you ass? You didn’t do anything your way. Did you fix your own teeth and cut your own hair? Did you build your own house? Please, you ass. Nobody can do anything their way except be stupid. You can choose to be stupid your own way, that I get.” [Ed. Note: Sheen is not attacking Sinatra in any way, since he didn’t actually write the song.]
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Sheen did stand behind Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, adding that she’s the only one who’s appropriate to take office in 2017.

“I’m not naïve about Mrs. Clinton,” said Sheen. “You lead 30 years of public life… when she was first lady she tried to do a health-care initiative and they beat her into submission. We need to remember that, as first lady, she tried to make a contribution and they destroyed her. They destroyed her credibility, but not her soul, not her hope, not her vision, not her intelligence, and not her courage. One heart with courage is the majority, and she believed that. She was not put off by these lunatics.”

Is it too late to get President Bartlet on the ballot?

(Americans can look for Sheen in Anne of Green Gables, coming to PBS in November. Canadians will have to wait until early 2017.)

[Ed. Note: This interview took place two days before the Access Hollywood tape leak.]
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