Cher: "I Think Our Government Can't Find Its Ass With Both Hands"
"It's greed coupled with ineptness coupled with ignorance," she said, addressing the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
"I think our government can't find its ass with both hands, and a map and a GPS," Cher told an audience on Tuesday.
Cher, the singer-actor generally perceived as a big-government liberal, made her pronouncement while discussing the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
The entertainer acknowledged, though, that she trusts government more than private business when it comes to water. "It was just, 'we need to make money. These people are poor, so we don't care'," Cher said, mimicking a conversation she envisioned among businessmen and/or politicians who let the problem escalate.
"It's greed coupled with ineptness coupled with ignorance," she said.
Cher's remarks came during a discussion in Los Angeles at the Milken Institute Global Conference.
In January, Cher was taken to task for tweeting that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is a "murderer" who should be executed. On Tuesday, she suggested her controversial tweeting may have "jumped the shark," but she didn't back off her criticism of Snyder.
"The governor is not part of the solution," Cher said.
The Flint crisis started two years ago when the city changed its water source to the Flint River and officials failed to take proper precautions. People there are suffering from lead contamination and are using bottled water for bathing, and everything else.
Cher more or less adopted the Flint water crisis as a primary cause after seeing it covered on TV and sending out tweets that were covered in the press.
"I tweet all the time. It didn't occur to me that anyone was paying attention," she said.
She said she called executives at many businesses asking them to send water to Flint, but didn't get takers until a man from Iceland she didn't name stepped up. Since then, she's helped deliver hundreds of thousands of bottles of water to the area. Entertainers, she said, are "generous in a way" and feel the need to "pay it forward."
Cher praised Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, who was supposed to be onstage with her but canceled because she is meeting with President Obama on Wednesday.
"I don't think she has slept. She's this mad woman," Cher said of the mayor's work to correct the water crisis. "We talk all [the] time on a girl level, because that's what she needs."
She also revealed that she has some sort of initiative in the works with the mayor, though she said she couldn't divulge details yet.
Water, it seems, has become an important issue in Hollywood. Matt Damon, for example, co-founded Water.org in 2009 with Gary White, and both were at the Milken conference two years ago promoting WaterCredit, allowing people in need of water access to credit.
This time around, White appeared onstage with Cher, and he boasted that Damon has quickly become one of the world's leading experts on water.