Belfast Telegraph

Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep back Oprah Winfrey for presidency bid

Winfrey has been at the centre of speculation that she may run.

Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep have backed a possible run for US president from Oprah Winfrey.

The Oscar-winning actors, who appear opposite each other in new film The Post, lent their support to the media proprietor and talk-show host on Wednesday.

Speaking to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Streep said Winfrey was “certainly raising the bar for whomever decides to run because they’d better burn the barn in the same way”.

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Tom Hanks (Ben Stevens/PA)

She added: “She’s run a major corporation, that didn’t go bankrupt three of four or however many times.

“Yeah, I think she’s more than qualified. Intellectually she’s qualified. Her energy, her stamina, her passion. I think she’s more than qualified.”

Asked if he would consider running, Hanks joked he would take the role of Winfrey’s vice president, adding: “I just hope President Winfrey gives me occasional rides on Air Force One”.

“People joke around with me all the time, ‘Hey, why don’t you – you make a good speech, you look good on TV, why don’t you do it?’

“That’s not the same thing as someone who really may need to step in and say, ‘Boy, there’s some heavy lifting that has to go on here, and if, I might have to do it’,” he said.

In the same interview Hanks was forced to backtrack after he said “anybody can grow up and become president of the United States”.

Streep told her co-star: “For half of the population that has been true,” to which Hanks replied: “I’m so glad that you have enlightened me, and I became enlightened simply by listening to what you had to say.”

He added: “And I cannot argue with the empirical truth of what you just pointed out. There’s a number of ways for history to be made here, and I think the first woman chief of executive of the United States would need to have Oprah Winfrey’s qualities.”

Winfrey has been at the centre of speculation that she may run for election following her rousing speech about equality at the Golden Globes on Sunday.

President Donald Trump has also addressed the rumours, claiming he would beat her if she did stand for office but said he does not believe she will.

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