Eastwood: I'm Not Politically Affiliated With Obama

Chrysler ad a political football

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 7, 2012 2:28 AM CST

(Newser) – God bless America ... and the Chrysler bailout ... seemed to be the message that left football fans misty-eyed after Clint Eastwood's Super Bowl Chrysler ad. It's "halftime" in America, and we're all pulling together for a brighter economic future, says the gravelly-voiced star. But Eastwood was opposed to the bailout that made the Chrysler turnaround possible, and now the ad has become a political football as Dems score points with it and the GOP tackles it, notes ABC News. “Saving the American Auto Industry: Something Eminem and Clint Eastwood can agree on," crowed White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer on Twitter, referring to Eminem’s Chrysler ad during last year's Super Bowl. "Powerful spot," chimed in Obama re-election strategist David Axelrod. But George Bush's political maven Karl Rove snapped that he was "offended" by the ad, which he argued was orchestrated by the administration to paint a rosy future.

Wait a minute there, pardner. "I am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama," Eastwood shot back to Fox News. The ad "was meant to be a message about job growth and the spirit of America. I think all politicians will agree with it." Ironically, the Republican star and former mayor of Carmel, Calif., blasted the $12.5 billion bailout that saved Chrysler's bacon. “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," he said at the time. Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said the ad has nothing to do with politics, but was intended as a tribute to Chrysler workers and "the resilience of America.” Here's the final irony: Chrysler isn't an all-American company. Italy's Fiat now owns a majority share.

Go ahead, make my day.
Go ahead, make my day.   (YouTube)
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Clint Eastwood "It's Halftime in America" Super Bowl ad.   (RonCarGuy)

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