Richard Gere: Obama Is 'One Of Our Great Presidents'

Nicholas Ballasy | June 3, 2011 | 4:18pm EDT
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( - Actor and activist Richard Gere told on Capitol Hill that President Barack Obama has done an "extraordinary job" in office and will probably go down as one of America's "great presidents."

Gere was on Capitol Hill to testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee about religious freedom and human rights in Asia. After his testimony, asked Gere, "Has President Obama, in your mind, been tough enough on China regarding human rights?"

Gere said, “No, no, he [Obama] has a ways to go. I think he’s finding his way of how forceful to be. I know what his own private feelings are – those are clear."

“I think he’s also finding out with the Chinese you have to be very frontal," said Gere. "You have to be very clear. You have to be unconfused and you must be very strong. I think he’s getting there but he could be stronger, yes.” also asked Gere, "Are you supportive of his job performance overall?"

Richard Gere on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo)

Gere said, “Overall, I think he’s done an extraordinary job.  I think he’s going to go down probably as one of our great presidents."

“He’s been able to juggle – let’s think of all of the problems that he’s had in his presidency," said the actor.  "You know, natural disasters, or international issues, domestic. He has found a way to change and flow to learn from every situation.”

Gere continued, “He obviously puts himself out there personally constantly. He’s a good listener. He engages on a personal level almost every day. We’re coming out of this terrible economic crisis. We’re turning the corner on terrorist situations. I think his engagement with the Chinese is starting to flower now – the strength within him is starting to emerge. I think he’s doing a terrific job.”

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