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George Clooney: Matt Damon for president, not me

Matt Damon and George Clooney share a laugh in Hollywood in 2007.

Story highlights

  • "When you run someone who is popular, you win," George Clooney says
  • The "Ides of March" director thinks Matt Damon would make a good president
  • Clooney says he has no interest in running for office

So, you want a famous actor to run for president? George Clooney has just the man for you -- and it's not him.

"The Republicans have certainly shown the way -- that when you run someone who is popular, you win. Sometimes even when you run an actor," Clooney, referring to Ronald Reagan, said Thursday at the Venice Film Festival.

But while many would like to see Clooney run, the "Ides of March" director has a better idea: Matt Damon.

"I guess I only throw his name out there because I'd like us to start thinking that way," Clooney, 50, said.

Politically active throughout his life, Damon, 40, was initially a major supporter of President Obama but has recently been critical of the president on issues like finance and education. He will likely be asked about his political ambitions on Saturday, when he arrives in Venice to promote Contagion.

As for Clooney, he downplayed any interest in running for higher office. "If I make a mistake it's not going to cost 100,000 people their lives. I'm very happy telling stories," he said. "Films don't hurt people. They just get badly reviewed sometimes."

He added: "I have a very nice life. I get to hang out with various seductive people, so I've no interest in [running for office]."

See the original article on PEOPLE.com