By Geneva Sands - 05/04/12 03:55 PM EDT
"It's very easy to criticize people. I think he's done a good job. He's done other things that maybe he should have been a little stronger about, people will complain. But it's not easy to be President of the United States," said De Niro on NBC's "Press Pass" with David Gregory on Friday.
But along with voicing support for Obama, the Academy Award winner said the "shenanigans" and "divisiveness" in Washington are "upsetting."
"I think most people feel that way," he said.
The movie star got firsthand experience of the negative side of politics earlier this year, when he took criticism for a racially-themed joke he told while introducing the first lady Michelle Obama in a New York City fundraiser.
After GOP backlash, De Niro released a statement that his remarks were in "satirical jest" and "not meant to offend anyone."
De Niro, who co-founded the Tribeca Film Festival after the Sept. 11 attacks, spoke to NBC from lower Manhattan with a view of the now-tallest building in the city, One World Trade Center, in the background.
"This will all be completed. And we will move on, but we must never forget ... I think mostly about the people who lost someone here. And not only lost them, but never found them, ever. So that's devastating," he said.
When asked about his reaction to the construction and rebuilding at Ground Zero, De Niro said he feels it's "appropriate and right."
"I know there was a lot of talk at one time, in the beginning, of where to put buildings, what to do. And the right thing, as far as I see, the way I see it, is that those two grave sites, memorials, are where they obviously should be," he said.