The Hollywood community has been anything but silent during the Bush administration, but an award-winning movie producer plans to back up his words with a run for the presidency.
Aaron Russo – producer of popular films such as “Trading Places,” starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, and Bette Midler’s “The Rose” – told WorldNetDaily he will officially throw his hat in the ring tomorrow as an independent candidate.
“There’s a large vacuum,” said Russo, once a candidate for Nevada governor, with “no Democratic candidate of any significance” challenging George Bush.
“I want to do what Ross Perot did, what Jesse Ventura did, and I want to come out and speak the truth – be plain-spoken, tell it like it is, and bring America back to its Constitution and Bill of Rights,” Russo said.
Both parties lie to us, he asserted, and neither follows the Constitution.
“I’m frustrated by that,” said Russo, “and want to bring freedom back to America.”
On his campaign website, he states why he wants to run for president: “I have a sincere belief that the Constitution and Bill of Rights as envisioned by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Ben Franklin, are the documents that America is supposed to be governed by. Unfortunately, neither political party respects the vision of our founding fathers, and these documents have been relegated to the dustbin. I want to dust them off and restore them to their proper role in our lives.”
Russo joined the Libertarian Party after losing the Nevada GOP gubernatorial primary to Kenny Guinn in 1998. Russo picked up 26 percent of the vote in a four-way race and planned to run an independent campaign in 2002, but was forced to pull out to concentrate on overcoming bladder cancer, which he says he did.
The Brooklyn native has been awarded a Tony, an Emmy, a Grammy and has had nominations for six Academy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards. He also was the first Hollywood movie producer to garner a $1 million fee. Additionally, he helped Bette Midler rise to stardom as her manager and created a politically oriented television program, “Aaron Russo’s Mad As Hell.”
“I believe in individual freedom,” he said. “I don’t believe in a big, monolithic state.”
Whether the leadership is Democratic or Republican, Russo contended, “you have $44 trillion in unfunded liabilities, a Federal Reserve that is broken, a situation in Iraq which I think is disgusting, and you have both parties stopping people from bearing arms. Where is that in the Constitution?”
“I believe there are millions and millions of unheard voices in America who would come out and vote for someone they believed in,” he said.
Russo calls the Iraq conflict “a pre-emptive war based on a series of lies” and a “gross injustice to the American people and the people of Iraq.”
“Iraq was not a threat to me, and personally I’d be more afraid of George Bush than I would of Saddam Hussein,” he said.
Russo continued: “George Bush is the one who passed the Patriot Act … the one who can wiretap my phones, who can go into libraries and have sneak-and-peak provisions.”
Saddam Hussein,” he said, “didn’t do those things to me. I wasn’t afraid of Saddam Hussein.”
Russo believes there is no connection between Iraq and the war on terror and insists the response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is to protect the borders, stem the tide of illegal immigration and go after the people who committed the atrocities.
“I think we have the means to do that without having a war against a country that had nothing to do with it,” he said.
Russo, who founded the short-lived Constitution Party in 1994, joined the Libertarian Party in 1999, but no longer is a member.
He said, ultimately, he might align himself with a party, but his intent now is to be independent and to bring people from as many different parties together under one roof.
“When you face the facts, the two political parties have destroyed America’s Constitution and the Bill of Rights,” he said. “We keep being told, if you don’t vote for one of the two parties, you are wasting your vote. Well, I feel just the opposite; I feel if you vote for the two parties you are wasting you’re vote, because nothing is going to change.”
On his website, russoforpresident.com, he stakes out his main points in a video message, using new technology he says will allow wide distribution via e-mail.
1. Both political parties lie to us, and neither can be trusted.
2. Our economy is a disaster.
3. We’re losing our right to free speech.
4. Both parties passed the Patriot Act, a crime against all Americans.
5. Both wage war against medical marijuana and alternative medicine.
6. Both attack our right to bear arms.
7. Both parties overtax, overspend and over-regulate.
8. Where is the gold owned by the American people? Neither party will address this issue and we need answers.
9. Both parties station our troops around the world rather than protecting our borders from terrorism and illegal immigration.
10. Both parties are guilty of starting the war in Iraq.
11. Both parties want to keep our troops there indefinitely.