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Actor Bill Murray to CNBC: 'I think we ought to be personally responsible'
By Pete Kasperowicz - 02/10/12 09:48 AM ET
Actor Bill Murray on Friday said he believes Americans need to be more personally responsible for their well-being.
"I think we ought to be personally responsible," he said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Friday morning. "I think if you can take care of yourself, and then maybe try to take care of someone else, that's sort of how you're supposed to live.
"It's not a question of asking other people for help or being rescued or anything like that," he continued. "I think we've sort of gotten used to someone looking out for us, and I don't think any other person is necessarily going to be counted on to look out for us.
"I think there's only so many people that can take care of themselves, and can take care of other people. And the rest of the people … they're useful in terms of compost for the whole planet, you know."
Murray said the United States is a "pioneer country," but that many seen to forget the discipline early Americans needed to have just to survive."Occasionally, it seeps in that they came in wagons from Illinois to Oregon or whatever. That they came in wagons and the wheels broke."
He said this image leads to thoughts such as, " 'Gee, that must have been hard for those women to push that wagon up that mountain.'
"And that's what they had to do," he said. "There was no option but to do it yourself, to have your own responsibility."
While Murray's comments were broad, they seemed to play into the message of Republicans, who have been looking to trim government and have spent the last year in the House arguing that people need to wean themselves off of government help.
But at the same time, Murray criticized both parties for their partisan bickering.
"They spend all their time just trying to destroy the other guy, not to work together, but to humble and humiliate the other so that they can't have success.
"It's not working to serve anyone anymore," he added. "I don't want to sound like a Rotarian, but if you're not some sort of common good, and you're only servic[ing] your sort of partisan alliance, you're part of what's destructive, you're destroying something."
Murray was also asked about actor Clint Eastwood's "Halftime in America" Super Bowl advertisement for Chrysler. Murray said he had not see the ad, but said it sounds similar to his message of taking care of yourself and trying to help others.
"I think he's right. I think it's a very good message, and I don't know why anyone would try to politicize it," Murray said. "It really sounds like what I'm talking of, of taking your own personal responsibility, and when you do that,then you can work with other people."
When CNBC host Joe Kernen said Murray's comments seemed to hew to a scene out of the movie "Stripes," Murray laughed and said, "Thank you for relaxing me there."