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Snubbed Michael Moore Withholds Backing
Published on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 by the Guardian/UK
Snubbed Michael Moore Withholds Backing
by Julian Borger in Boston

Michael Moore's satirical documentary on the Bush administration, Fahrenheit 9/11, may have broken box office records, but it was not enough to win the director an invitation to this week's Democratic convention.

The feeling is mutual. In an interview with the Guardian, Moore made it clear that he would campaign against President Bush, not necessarily for John Kerry, who, he argued, had to perform better to avoid "blowing" the election.

"I have not publicly endorsed Kerry," he said. Neither had he been asked to help the campaign. "I don't want them to. I haven't reached out to them either. I don't want to. It's not my job. My job is to inform the American people about what this president has done to this country."

Moore's blunt style would not be an easy fit with the campaign's efforts to maintain a disciplined and moderate image, particularly at the party convention. Direct attacks on the president's character have been banned.

Moore was in the convention hall on Monday night but his invitation came from Jimmy Carter's family. As he spoke yesterday, he sat two seats away from the former president's wife, Rosalyn.

Despite his cool relations with cautious campaign officials, Moore believes his film, which this week became the first documentary to earn more than $100m (£55m), has helped shift the electorate in Senator Kerry's direction. He quotes polling figures suggesting that 40% of the Republicans who have seen the film said they would recommend it.

He says he gets 6,000 emails a day, many of them praise from non-voters, independents and Republicans.

"I don't think it will be close," Moore said. "All these polls are among 'likely voters', which means they don't count people who don't normally vote. But I think we'll have the largest vote turnout in my lifetime. It's Kerry's to lose. He'd have to blow it."

But that was a possibility. "The Democrats are very skilled at blowing it."

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004


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