CNBC Meets

Does a president benefit from celebrity backers?

Matt Damon: I would love to play Bobby Kennedy
Matt Damon: I would love to play Bobby Kennedy

In 2008, on the cusp of Barack Obama's historic election victory, Matt Damon headed to West Palm Beach in Florida to campaign for the Democratic nominee. "We need change in this country and now is the time to be sure that happens," the Jason Bourne star said at the time.

That tone soon changed. By 2010, Damon said he was dissatisfied with President Obama and a year later he told Elle magazine, "You know, a one-term president with some balls who actually got stuff done would have been, in the long run of the country, much better."

Not that Obama himself was glowing about Damon: he responded at the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner by stating: "Matt Damon said he was disappointed in my performance. Well, Matt, I just saw 'The Adjustment Bureau,' so right back at you, buddy!"

The Oscar-winning documentary film maker Michael Moore even suggested that Damon run for president back in 2012.

When asked on CNBC Meets whether he would follow fellow actors like Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger into politics, Damon replied: "I love making movies, I just love making movies. That's what I've spent my whole life doing, my whole adult life, and I know how to do that, and, you know, I'm certainly outspoken about politicians, and you know, will support politicians. But no, I'm not interested in politics."

However, there is one politician Damon would like to be: another Democrat visionary, Robert Kennedy.

"I would love to do that," he said. "I just love that guy, and the incredible things he was saying at the end of his life. He's a really interesting figure."

Matt Damon visits Barack Obama's campaign headquarters in Florida in 2008
Larry Marano | Getty Images

Obama and celebrity

Damon is not the first celebrity to lose faith with Obama since his inauguration. Personalities including Barbara Streisand, Jane Lynch, Spike Lee and Robert Redford have all chimed in to criticize the Obama administration—and the president saw a drop in contributions from Hollywood donors in 2012 according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

However, in the push to drive people to sign up to Obamacare, the White House could still utilize an array of contacts to help spread the word. Obama appeared on Ellen DeGeneres and the popular online series "Between Two Ferns" with Zach Galifianakis, which drove a large amount of traffic to

Fred Davis is a Republican Party media consultant at Strategic Perception and was chief creative consultant of John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008. He infamously created the well-known commercial which attacked Obama for being more a global celebrity than a political leader.

Davis said that this gradual growing criticism from celebrities was because their reaction to Obama mirrored the response of the electorate at large.

In 2008, Davis said, Obama "was exciting; he was young; he was African American; he was the opposite of George W. Bush; he was everything that everybody wanted. After eight years of Bush they wanted something new. And what could be more new than a guy with no experience that was incredibly charming, a great speaker, but nobody ever really investigated how he might govern."

Davis argued that it wasn't film and TV stars who got behind Obama, but the world: "It wasn't because the celebrities were behind him that he won; he was a force of his own making."

Mark Ledwidge, a senior lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, agreed that many individuals got swept up in the Obama craze and that this hope for change created "expectations around Barack Obama" that "were highly problematic."

"What a lot of people bought into was that Obama was going to be able to change the course of the American presidency," Ledwidge told CNBC in a phone interview.

"The problem with that analysis is that with the American presidency…the executive branch is designed in a particular way which means you're going to have deep continuities whoever is president. There is going to be continuity generally, unless there is some major event."

Davis emphasized how celebrities in 2008 and with the Obamacare drive still offered the president "free advertising." When Davis was creative director for the Republican National Convention in 2008 he said he "could hardly get any celebrities from Hollywood to even come and attend the convention."

Davis said of his "celebrity" advert on Obama in 2008: "While that really helped us in August 2008, I think the most amazing part is in the long run that's really turned out to be true. Not just with Matt Damon and other celebrities, but mainly voters."

By CNBC's Kiran Moodley