VISTA DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) - Martin Sheen, America's favorite prime-time president, told a group at a California treatment center Saturday that he thinks George W. Bush (news - web sites) is a "white-knuckle drunk.''
In his speech, Sheen said he was concerned that the Republican presidential candidate never received counseling after a 1976 arrest for drunken driving.
"He's still in denial about it,'' said Sheen, a vocal supporter of Bush's rival, vice-president Al Gore (news - web sites). "You have got to be in a program. I did not make up the rules about that.''
Throughout his campaign, Bush deflected questions about drinking and drug abuse by admitting he made mistakes while young and emphasizing that he gave up alcohol at age 40.
Sheen, who plays fictional President Josiah Bartlett on NBC's political drama "The West Wing,'' said he is a recovering substance abuser himself and does not mean to insult Bush but to force him to acknowledge the severity of drug and alcohol dependence.