Back in the before times, when you could go to a public place filled with strangers and mill about all aimlessly and whatnot, Donald Trump hung out with Vince Vaughn at a college football game. Months later, Vaughn would like to clear the air about that incident, which you probably forgot about because, well, a lot has happened since January 13 of this year.
The incident dates back to the college football championship game between LSU and Clemson, which was the last college football game before a pandemic made that whole thing extremely weird. This was, you may recall, a triumph or sorts for the president, who in Atlanta got a decent ovation from college football fans after the good people of Washington booed him heavily at a World Series game along with chants of “lock him up.” And Trump’s good fortunes continued when he was seen on camera cheerfully interacting with noted Average Joe Vaughn.
I'm very sorry to have to share this video with you. All of it, every part of it. pic.twitter.com/ELMbDHZbZq
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 14, 2020
As The Guardian noted at the time, Vaughn was caught chatting with Trump and shaking his hand, which drew ire on social media from many who wondered if the noted libertarian was effectively endorsing Trump by being so chummy. But Vaughn, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times for his new movie, Freaky, said he’s not particularly a fan of Trump and that the incident was overblown on social media:
Vaughn insists the episode was overblown. “In my career I’ve met a lot of politicians who I’ve always been cordial to; I’ve met Nancy Pelosi and was cordial to her as well,” he says, noting that at that same football game he also greeted Democratic strategist James Carville, who had a cameo in “Old School.” “It was the only time I’ve ever met him. We said hello. He was very personable.” He laughs. “I didn’t get into policies.”
“I think people are more charged than ever about these things,” he continues. “But I don’t think most people take that stuff as seriously as the small percentage that’s making noise about it. I was raised with the idea that you could have different likes and beliefs and you should respect and defend that in other people, not shout it down. The people you disagree with the most, you should stand up for their right to do that.”
Vaughn has clearly dismissed the “noise” people made about the incident, as well as those who criticized his politics in the aftermath of the meeting. But he made it clear his only endorsement is for another failed presidential candidate, and that he is unaffiliated in all of this:
“The only candidate I ever supported is [former Libertarian presidential nominee] Ron Paul… I don’t have a party that I support and endorse. In fact, for me sometimes it’s difficult to find a candidate that you feel is philosophically consistent and not just going along with whoever is funding their particular party. That’s as much as I’ll get into it at this point.”
It’s worth noting, of course, that Vaughn’s defense here is not a rebuke of Trump as much of an admission that he will shake any politician’s hand while not in the middle of a pandemic. He spent zero time in the piece actually criticizing Trump for anything that’s happened in the last four years nor expressing regret for how the incident played out publicly. But as he said, he’s just having a hard time finding reason to support or not support a politician in the modern political landscape, which seems, yes, unusual, but he doesn’t wish to discuss it.
(Via LA Times)