Clint Eastwood to GOP: Get Off My Lawn

A gaggle of right-wing functionaries is furious with Clint Eastwood and Chrysler, with no less than Karl Rove calling out the actor-director-inspirational halftime huckster for a Super Bowl ad that Rove and others perceived as a thinly veiled reelection endorsement for President Obama. Wait, what?

The shit hit the fan Monday afternoon when Rove took to Fox News to protest the epic TV spot, arguing that... honestly, I have no idea. Big Hollywood's John Nolte offered the most succinct explanation of conservative outrage -- "Because Obama’s decided to eliminate moral hazard and socialize losses for anyone who employs the unions who fund his campaigns, Chrysler obviously wrote a thinly veiled thank you in the form of a reelection ad for their benefactor, and convinced a Republican icon to deliver it" -- but things just got straight-up surreal with Rove (via EW):

"Chicago-style politics"? Excuse me? If anything, this is Detroit politics (or economics, really), and to think Eastwood would just overlook the potential implications therein for the simple sake of a rah-rah Super Bowl message is to underestimate a pretty smart guy who once made it a two-year mission of his life to emphasize the benefits of business over politics.

Anyway, Eastwood's manager offered a beleaguered defense ("People have to understand that what he was doing was saying to America, 'Get yourselves together – all of you – and make this a second half.' It's not a political thing"), but the best part came when Eastwood himself reached out to O'Reilly Factor producer Ron Mitchell to defuse the conspiracy theories, hype, conjecture, invective and the rest of it:

"I just want to say that the spin stops with you guys, and there is no spin in that ad. On this I am certain.

l am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama. It was meant to be a message about just about job growth and the spirit of America. I think all politicians will agree with it. I thought the spirit was OK.

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."

Love. It. It's like, "Screw you and your panic; there's plenty of room up here for anyone who wants to join me on the high road." Now Obama doesn't have to say a word, and the conservatives are left to either embrace the "let's fix this" spirit that they just implicitly ascribed to the president or oppose it as a matter of ideological course -- which would just reinforce the ad's criticism of "the fog, the division, the discord and blame" crippling our discourse. Whoops! I'm still not buying a Chrysler, but hey. This is turning out all right!

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  • Sally says:

    whoever wrote that ad should be hired by the Obama team.

  • Melissa says:

    It was done by a local ad company in Portland, Or. That explains a lot. But the fact that is was NOT filmed in Detroit is what irritates me. You are praising Detroit on surviving the crap economy, and can't support the city enough to actually film there? Yeah, that makes a whole lot of sense.

    • KevyB says:

      You do realize filming what are little more than establishing shots and shots of underpaid extras for a one-minute commercial pretty much couldn't possibly support any single town it was filmed in, right? If any economy was supported, it was the airline industry.

  • Mecca says:

    wieden+kennedy is not exactly a "local ad company". their main office is indeed portland, but they also have offices in ny, london, amsterdam, delhi, tokyo, etc. you get the picture. it is interesting that it was filmed in new orleans (stadium shots) and los angeles (tunnel scenes). cheaper. at least eastwood was not put into a bikini (toyota) and made into a couch, or fantasized and objectified as a fiat. i also agree that it seemed to be backing the bailout, along with the "we can do it, americans" message.

  • j'accuse! says:

    Some people just can't help but take things the wrong way.

  • Why did you take the best half-time connercial and attack Clint Eastwood, poor
    showing Karl Rove, you should talk after
    blowing the whisle on "The Wilsons" now
    you attack a movie Icon. Bad move for the

    • Dave Zappa says:

      The was a car in the ad, the Jeep Front fender is unmistakable to anyone with eyesight, But the message was not lost on me or anyone I know, Clint basically said, knock it the F off in Washington, and look out world, because America is in it always, don't mess with a sleeping giant,
      And Clint is the only BadAss big enough to carry the message, only wish they would have used that squint in his one eye...
      Go ahead, make my day, and he did!

  • Artist-hating Charles says:

    While watching it, I had no idea what the point of the ad was. Just another big waste of taxpayer dollars, if you ask me.

  • Rove Corrector says:

    Carl, that would be $100,000 per job, not $1 million per job. Using that fuzzy GOP math? So, the jobs are already paid for (based on what the gov't would have dished out in unemployment since June '09), if the gov't never gets its money back, but it is holding stock, worth a lot of money and with GM's performance lately, it should get that money back, also.

  • mrinternet says:

    The reason the Republicans have their panties in a wad is that the Eastwood-Chyrsler Superbowl ad shatters the the GOP/Libertarian Koch brothers-Fred Luntz doom and gloom party of NO messages... and puts the GOP on the low road explaining their miscalculations... lets get real for a change!

    Enough said.

  • Jeff Litowitz says:

    The heck with the controversey and all the finger pointers trying to call it something it isn't. Say goodbye to Romney,Gingrich, Paul and Santorum. Stepaside Mr Obama You want a voice in the White House that would be heard and listened to around the world? Lady's and Gentelmen Lets make Mr. Eastwood our next president. It worked with Regan It just might be lightning striking twice.