Award winning Director and actor Clint Eastwood is known for his libertarian beliefs and support of the Republican party, so it’s quite a surprise to see him narrate a Super Bowl ad impeding the resurgence of Chrysler and other Detroit auto makers as a model for a new America reawakening.
As current as last year, Clint Eastwood was bashing President Obama’s 2009 bailout of the auto industry, which initiated the stage for Chrysler’s revival.
Clint Eastwood told the Los Angeles Times in November that he is a ” big hawk on cutting the deficit.” He added: “I was against the stimulus thing too. We shouldn’t be bailing out the banks and car companies. If a CEO can’t figure out how to make his company profitable, then he shouldn’t be the CEO.”
The award-winning director points out that Americans are hurting, in the commercial called “It’s Half Time in America,” and added: “The people of Detroit know something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together. Now Motor City is fighting again.”
Clint Eastwood’s seeming switch shocked the commentators on both sides of the political divide.
Michelle Malkin, the conservative columnist, tweeted during the game: “Agh. WTH? Did I just see Clint Eastwood fronting an auto bailout ad???”
Greg Mitchell, blogger for the liberal paper The Nation, also chronicled, tweeting: “Republican Clint Eastwood claims ‘we all pulled together’ to save Detroit–wrong, your party did not, big guy.”
Leonard Hirshan, a representative of Clint Eastwood, spoke with NY Magazine regarding the spot and argued against any accusations of Clint Eastwood promoting a political agenda.
Fox New’s commentator Karl Rove, have called the commercial an epitome of tax dollars going toward pro-Obama corporate advertising.
In response, Eastwood’s long-time manager Leonard Hirshan said, “I think that Rove and everybody, if they’re sensible, would wonder why a long-time Republican and Libertarian would do that,” he said. “Just think about that, how silly that is: It’s not like [the ad] was done by a left-winger, like Paul Newman in his day. It was done by a Republican, and he was doing it about America. There’s not anything political to do with it whatsoever. I don’t want him to do commercials, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s a PSA [public service announcement]. Period.”
On the other hand, Clint Eastwood says he’s not connected with Obama. The libertarian and long-time Republican voter said Monday evening on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” about the ad, which draws attention to him applauding the virtues of a revitalized Detroit, “l am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama. It was meant to be a message about job growth and the spirit of America.”
Chrysler was one of the ailing companies saved in President Obama’s 2009 auto bailout, which actor/director Clint Eastwood has publicly opposed. “I think all politicians will agree with it,” he continued. “I thought the spirit was OK.”
Clint Eastwood, who declared he was “not supporting any politician at this time,” also gave his blessing for either party to reference the spot, or at most its message. “If Obama or any other politician wants to run with the spirit of that ad, go for it,” he said.