Aaron Sorkin created some of the most iconic political leaders and players in pop culture history in his acclaimed show The West Wing – but would he ever have imagined a character like presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump?
Bradley Whitford, who played White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman for seven seasons on the NBC series, doesn’t think so.
“It’s terrible writing,” the 56-year-old actor recently told PEOPLE. “Look, our show had a progressive democratic point of view, and the fakest thing about our show was that we had rational Republicans written in to be the opposition.”
But Whitford, 56, didn’t stop there. The actor then took a swing at Trump’s often criticized views on minorities and women.
“Aaron never would have gotten away with writing a character as racist, as misogynist, as proudly unintellectual [and] as arrogant as Donald Trump,” he said.
Trump, 70, has long defended his political stances and previously told PEOPLE that his public persona isn’t the same as his private one: “I think I’m somewhat different. I’m a much nicer person than people would think, to see me from the outside.”
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Whitford, who won his first Emmy in 2001 for playing Lyman, has reprised his beloved character since the show went off the air more than 10 years ago. Last month, he joined costar Allison Janney for a walk-and-talk reunion on The Late Late Show with James Corden.
The cast has also gotten political in the past, gathering at Austin’s ATX Television Festival earlier this month to discuss with PEOPLE, among other things, ways to welcome veterans home and thank them for their service by offering programs that help with PTSD and other issues that often plague veterans.
• Reporting by KRISTEN O’BRIEN