Robert De Niro says he knows crazy. In his movies, De Niro says he’s played crazy, and he’s comparing Donald Trump to his Oscar-nominated role in Taxi Driver, Travis Bickle.
Robert De Niro was recently at the Sarajevo Film Festival, now in its 22nd year, to receive a lifetime achievement award. The topic quickly turned to Donald Trump at a Q&A panel event, where De Niro made the link between his Taxi Driver character and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The 2016 presidential election has been unlike any in modern times due to the outrageous behavior of Donald Trump. The candidate bills himself as “not a politician,” and he does not acknowledge any type of etiquette, throwing out barbs and insults that seem to come out of left field. Trump’s behavior is so extreme that coming on board as his vice presidential candidate was likened to a career-ending decision. It is said that younger prospects were afraid of being linked to Trump, and older, more seasoned candidates thought that being Trump’s running mate was not worth the trouble.
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Shaking his head, Robert De Niro explained that it is scary to him that Donald Trump reminds him so much of Travis Bickle, the mentally disturbed character he played in Taxi Driver.
“What he has been saying is totally crazy, ridiculous, stuff that shouldn’t be even… he is totally nuts.”
In making the comparison to the Taxi Driver character, De Niro explains that the irony is that at the end of the movie, is back to driving a cab, and he is celebrated and has his supporters. De Niro pondered how it is that the citizens of the United States let someone “like Trump” get to where he is today.
“People like Donald Trump who shouldn’t be where he is so… God help us,” he remarked.
All of De Niro’s musings about Donald Trump were met with applause from the international audience.
But De Niro was optimistic about the way almost all media is now covering Donald Trump. Trump claims all of the media is too liberal, and their coverage of him is the only reason he isn’t currently “beating Hillary by 20 percent.” De Niro says that the media, for the most part, is no longer shining him on, and he is reacting by ranting on Twitter.
“Finally they are starting to say: come on Donald, this is ridiculous, this is nuts, this is insane.”
De Niro referenced Trump’s lack of introspection, blaming the media’s portrayal of him rather than adjusting his behavior. Instead of thinking before he talks, Donald Trump just alleges that the corrupt media is twisting his words. This was never more obvious than when he bashed the Muslim Gold Star families, suggested that President Obama founded ISIS, and made a reference to Second Amendment fans finding a way to stop Hillary Clinton. But Trump refuses to believe that the trend of this talk is the reason his numbers are tanking.
“If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn’t put false meaning into the words I say, I would be beating Hillary by 20 percent.”
In Saturday’s New York Times, the fight, which seems to be a losing battle for the GOP to control Donald Trump’s tongue, was laid out. Rather than address the statements, Trump attacked the paper, saying “it’s garbage” and “it will soon be out of business.” The Times called Trump sullen, erratic, and brooding, saying that he suddenly blows off steam with youthful exuberance. They also stated up front that Trump might not win, which still seems to take Trump by surprise.
In response, Trump said that he is thinking of pulling the press credentials of the NYT to follow his campaign. He also asked his followers to stop reading the NYT.
“You know when they write dishonest stories, you can’t read them. They are so much. You can’t read them… when they write dishonest stories, we should be a little bit rough.”
Jodie Foster and Robert De Niro on the set of Taxi Driver, 1976. Photograph by Steve Schapiro. pic.twitter.com/nI96aKWavo— History In Pictures (@HistoryInPix) August 15, 2016
In a sign of internal problems with Trump’s random rantings, Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, told Fox News’s Chris Wallace that he was still trying to convince Trump to stop banning outlets (the Washington Post has already had their credentials pulled). But at this time, Pence is still trying to sound diplomatic.
“We’ll keep our private conversations private, but that’s an ongoing discussion in the campaign.”
Do you think Robert De Niro’s comparison between his character in Taxi Driver and Donald Trump is accurate?
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]