(LOS ANGELES) — Clint Eastwood made a career playing tough guys who don’t mince words, and now he’s setting the record straight: he’s not shilling for President Obama.
Chrysler’s “Halftime in America” Super Bowl ad, in which Eastwood discussed the economic challenges the United States faces, became a political football seconds after it aired. Obama administration officials were quick to praise the ad, touting it as a defense of Obama’s billion dollar auto bailout, which critics charge was political payback for union support of Obama. Conservatives were just as quick to blast it for the same reasons.
But in a statement to a producer of Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, Eastwood, a former Republican mayor, said, “I am certainly not affiliated with Mr. Obama. I am not supporting any politician at this time. Chrysler to their credit didn’t even have cars in the ad. Anything they gave me for it went for charity. If any Obama or any other politician wants to run with the spirit of that ad, go for it.”
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer tweeted seconds after the ad aired, saying, “Saving the America Auto Industry: Something Eminem and Clint Eastwood can agree on.” Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore tweeted: “…Clint, the consensus is u done a good thing…& your sermon seemed 2 b a call 2 give O his ‘second half.'”
On the other side of the fence, conservatives like columnist and bestselling author Michelle Malkin tweeted their disbelief. “WTH? Did I just see Clint Eastwood fronting an auto bailout ad?” Malkin posted.
Eastwood, the former Mayor of Carmel, California, has previously gone on record saying the government’s taxpayer-funded stimulus package and the billions of dollars spent on auto bailouts were a bad idea. “We shouldn’t be bailing out the banks and car companies,” he told The Los Angeles Times last year. “If a CEO can’t figure out how to make his company profitable, then he shouldn’t be the CEO.”
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