Clint Eastwood Denies Political Slant In Chrysler Super Bowl Ad

Last year, people around the country cheered Chrysler’s ad touting the phoenix-like rebirth of Detroit and American automakers. But it’s an election year, so the car company’s most recent TV spot, featuring Mr. Grizzle himself, Clint Eastwood, has been attacked by some as being propaganda for the Obama administration.

Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin was one of the first critics to come out against the spot, which use the phrase “It’s halftime America,” when she Tweeted “Did I just see Clint Eastwood fronting an auto bailout ad???”

And former George W. Bush administration member Karl Rove has implied that the Obama White House actually had a hand in the ad, saying that the administration was “using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising.”

But Eastwood himself has denied any political motivation for doing the spot, saying, “It was meant to be a message 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.”

Fox Business has mistakenly reported that the ad was been pulled down from YouTube, when in fact it is alive and well on the Chrysler YouTube page and has already tallied more than 4.2 million views since Sunday night.

Clint Eastwood: Chrysler Commercial Doesn’t Mean I’m an Obama Supporter [SeattlePI.com]

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  1. dragonfire81 says:

    I think the idea of America getting back on its feet is pretty non partisan. Everyone agrees we have pressing issues in this country that need to be dealt with, they just disagree on how we should do so.

    I thought the spot was great.

    • Wireless Joe says:

      It’s only non-partisan if your party isn’t banking on a dismal economy and failed recovery to reclaim the White House.

      • tooluser says:

        Or bent on destroying personal freedoms, taking everyone’s money, and enslaving the populace in pursuit of equality above basic, God-given human rights, some of which are enumerated in the Constitution.

        Two can play this game, all the way to Hell.

        Seek Liberty! Concentrate on what’s both good and best for yourself, and you will likely enrich others along the way. Those you harm will seek your destruction. Seems a fair enough trade-off.

    • Charmander says:

      I also think it was non-partisan. Clint Eastwood is a Republican.

  2. Coffee says:

    Wow…I think this is reading too much into it. When I saw the ad, it seemed kind of overly patriotic, and the only thing I felt a little critical of was that appealing to patriotism to sell cars is a little silly. I did not, however, feel it was slanted in either direction.

    • HomerSimpson says:

      Apparently you’re not “reading in between the lines” (or named Karl Rove), or something….

    • alexwade says:

      When I first saw it, it reminded me of all the other Chrysler commercials proclaiming Detroit is back. Like the last one which had Eminem singing Detroit’s praises.

      If Detroit is back, why did you need another commercial to tell us Detroit is back? I would almost be willing to bet money that next year, Chrysler will spend some more money telling us how good Detroit is now. No, Detroit is not alive. Its time has passed and it ain’t coming back. Chrysler would have been better off spend that money hiring some good engineers to make a transmission for their Dodge vehicles that will last over 20,000 miles.

      • Cat says:

        You’re reminding me of Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” campaign.

        Why would anyone want a car manufactured in the 3rd world?

      • tooluser says:

        Kind of like NYC in the early 70′s? No comeback there, nosiree.

        Detroit has bacon. That’s all it needs.

  3. Cat says:

    Michelle Malkin, hehe.

    Pity, that. Such a smart woman… So totally duped by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and friends. How could such a backward mind develop under the care of immigrant parents?

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      You’re mistaken if you think all immigrants are liberals.

      • mister_roboto says:

        And you’re mistaken if you think that’s what he meant.

        • Cat says:

          What I meant is she needs to be dropped penniless in the slums of Manila for a few years for a real “education”. I’m aware that her parents were slightly right – leaning Reagan Republicans, but that’s understandable given their time of entrance into the country. She’s led a very privileged life.

          The only stance she has that makes any sense is her position on birthright citizenship and, to a lesser degree, immigration policy.

          • TheMansfieldMauler says:

            She’s led a very privileged life.

            Um…yeah. That’s why immigrants come to this country, so their kids don’t have to grow up in the slums of some 3rd world craphole.

    • ARP says:

      You’d also be interested in knowing that Michelle was born to parents who were in the US on work visas (not citizens and not permanent visas/ greencards). So she became a citizen by the fact she was born here, but she hates those immigrants. If she followed her own beliefs, she should have been sent back with her parents when their visas expired.

  4. ned4spd8874 says:

    Everybody’s always hatin’ on the D! It’s a car ad, plain and simple people!

  5. sjackson12 says:

    If Michelle Malkin and Karl Rove are against it, I’m for it

  6. agent 47 says:

    A libertarian supporting Obama? I doubt it. Maybe in 2008, but not this time around.

  7. rpm773 says:

    All politics aside, I think these “We’re back and better than ever!” ads from bailed-out automakers are annoying and lack perspective.

    When you’ve been around for 100 years, spending 30 of those years careening toward a brick wall which you eventually hit, I think it’s a little premature to melodramatically announce you’ve risen from the ashes after having 1 profitable quarter.

  8. Daniel Svoboda says:

    Because everything -must- be about either one rabid political idio(t)ology or the other…

  9. TheDisco says:

    Clint Eastwood is a life long Republican. Just not a partisan one like these hacks. A win is a win for America, regardless of the party involved.

  10. dolemite says:

    Ham Rove, come over here. Don’t think I have such a short memory as to who initiated and passed the auto bailouts to Obama. Your boy, GW. So don’t try and push it as an Obama socialist agenda.

  11. Coffee says:

    Eastwood’s response: “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.”

    Source: http://www.movieline.com/2012/02/07/clint-eastwood-to-gop-get-off-my-lawn/

  12. framitz says:

    Never saw the commercial and not the least interested in it.

    I do know from observation and reading that Chrysler make some of the ugliest vehicles on the planet and that Mercedes quality has gone to hell with them.

    Chrysler; so far off the radar they might as well not exist at all for me.
    And I used to Love their products in the early 70′s when they had a clue.

  13. Tim says:

    Anything that suggests that anything good happened to America in the last three years is obviously politically biased toward Democrats, duh.

  14. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    Didn’t Malkin raise a stink about a Dunkin Donuts ad with Rachel Ray a few years ago? I remember she publicly complained that Ray was wearing an Arab kaffiyeh – and it turned out to be a paisley scarf – but Dunklin caved anyway and pulled the ad. Gahdam! Why does ANYBODY listen to this deranged person????

  15. Melchiour says:

    Actually it was pulled off Youtube for a short time, but it was a mistake. A 3rd party for NFL thought it was actually part of the Half Time programming and had it taken down.

    http://jalopnik.com/5883057/exclusive-how-the-nfl-fumbled-chryslers-commercial

    • scoosdad says:

      Dumbasses. Everybody’s pointing the finger at this ‘third party’ the NFL hired to look for infringing content, but in the end it was Google who did the deed without a proper review.

      Let’s all post kitty and puppy home videos to Youtube with the title “Half Time at the Supper Bowl” and see what happens.

    • ManOnTheDoor says:

      Exactly right. It was pulled by mistake. but wait, that doesn’t make nearly as good of copy as “Teh Fox Newz is teh dumbs”

      • DubbaEwwTeeEff says:

        The two aren’t mutually exclusive… Fox News is still “teh dumbs” whether they were right about it being taken down or not, the fact that Clint Eastwood even had to make a statement on this is proof.

  16. chefboyardee says:

    In related news, everyone reads too much into everything and everyone thinks everything is political. Story at 11.

  17. mister_roboto says:

    For shit Malkin says: Don’t dance with crazy.

  18. RickinStHelen says:

    If Jesus were to appear, the Democrats and Republicans would fight over his ideas. Not to claim him, but to denigrate his comments as typical of the other party’s (insert complaint here).

  19. NumberSix says:

    It’s just a car ad. Why is this even a thing?

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      Exactly.

      The talking parrot heads need issues to talk about. To them Hollywood types are working for the opposition directly. It is a fracking car ad. I thought it was supposed to say the US automakers and Chrysler were making a comeback equating the comeback with the second half. That’s actually right inline with other Chrysler ads showing cars driving through Detroit.

      Give me a break.

  20. TasteyCat says:

    I didn’t sense a political slant in the ad, although the bailout was in my mind while watching it, since Ford’s apparently the only competent American automaker. Anyway, not as good as the Eminem ad.

    • maxamus2 says:

      How is Ford competant? The only thing they did (and it was by chance), they had just taken a huge line of credit before the sh&* hit the fan and that was the reason they didn’t “need” the bailout, it was lucky timing.

      That said, they still went to congress with GM and Chrysler with their hands out, they only pulled out because of all the bad publicity of the car companies going for a bailout, taking private jets, etc… If there hadn’t been the backlash at the time, Ford would have taken billions as well.

      • TasteyCat says:

        There’s a reason why GM discontinued or sold 5 brands over the course of 1 year. The company was too bloated to survive and collapsed under its own weight.

      • Jaynor says:

        They went to congress asking the government to help guarantee a loan IF they needed one (they didn’t end up having to pull on it) vs the bailout the other two were looking for.

        Ford took a look at the market and smartly decided to increase their cash holdings at a crucial time – competent.

        Ford hired a chief executive from Boeing’s C-suite to help address supply chain and quality issues (say what you want about Boeing, but they are the U.S. single largest exporter in terms of dollars) – competent.

        Ford started working on fuel efficient smaller cars with a thought to interior styling roughly 3 years before the rest of the U.S auto companies followed suit, correctly reading upcoming market demand – competent.

        No – I don’t work with or for Ford, lol.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      I thought that too, when he says “we all pulled together”. I thought, no, the government took tax money and bailed out the auto makers, except Ford. “we” really didn’t have much to do with it.

  21. BigDragon says:

    I could have sworn that ad was hit with a DMCA takedown by the NFL and then put back online mere hours later. I remember reading Google was investigating the situation.

    More importantly, I thought Clit was a Ford guy. I am very disappointed for him in supporting Chrysler, but I know it was just too good an opportunity to pass up. I’ve never had luck with Chryslers. It seems like they all have electrical problems and oil leaks. Chrysler has some good advertising right now, but that doesn’t atone for experiences in the past.

  22. ToddMU03 says:

    He talks about Detroit, but it was filmed in LA and New Orleans and featured a Dodge Challenger, which is manufactured in Ontario.

  23. maxamus2 says:

    I was rather dissapointed when I read a majority of the footage was filmed in LA and New Orleans and the only Detroit footage they used was stock footage. Seems a little ironic to me.

  24. Conformist138 says:

    I swear, some of the craziest on the right seem allergic to any reference to Americans “being united” or “working together”. Somehow, the very lessons we try to teach to our children are being considered politically threatening and divisive.

    Of course, I love the irony of someone seeing this kind of message in an ad that was trying so hard to be universally appealing and uniting.

  25. axolotl says:

    “It’s halftime America, and you’re about to get flipped-off by an overpaid “performer”.”

  26. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Mr. Eastwood states a lot of good points in this commercial, and this especially stuck with me.

    “People are out of work, and they’re hurting. And they’re all wondering what they’re gonna do to make a comeback, and we’re all scared because this isn’t a game.”

    No, this isn’t a game. And someone better figure out how to fix the mess we’re in before we have two classes of people in this country, those who have and those who don’t. Or before the Chinese call in their debt and we end up in a worse mess.

    • BooCackles says:

      I wish politicians did care about the people who were jobless and about trying to find a way to work together for the public good. Which ad will they try to spin next? I’m just waiting for them to say that Betty White was sending a coded message to wake up Peta sleeper cells with her ad for The Voice….

  27. ChaosOnion says:

    Stupid tweets merrit a #birdbrain.

  28. humphrmi says:

    Of course the Republicans don’t like it. It presents a positive message about America. TThey want to oust Obama at any cost. They can’t oust Obama if you feel good about America. Ergo, they hate the commercial.

  29. BurtReynolds says:

    A positive, populist message about America? Of course the conservative talking heads hate it. Only the rich can look forward to a prosperous future.

  30. Halfabee says:

    What a website! Where else can you get commentary from The Cat, Number Six, and Eric the Half-a-bee in the same article. Be seeing you, Monkeys!

    Semi-carnally,

    Eric

  31. darthwaveous says:

    This is so stupid Clint Eastwood has been a republican well before I was born. The idea of a city (Detroit) or industry getting back on their feet is a bad thing. SMH how partisan this country has become at times.

  32. Xmar says:

    The problem is that it is not politically good for the republicans for America to get back on its economic feet before election day.

  33. gman863 says:

    Now it all makes sense!

    M.I.A. is a secret member of the Tea Party; her gesture during the halftime show was the official Rebublican response to the ad.

  34. Scamazon says:

    And Chrysler defends assembling their cars out of the country…

  35. magnetic says:

    The thing that really sticks it for me is that “it’s halftime in America” – the second half of whose administration?

  36. chiieddy says:

    Wow. Isn’t Clint Eastwood famously Republican? I swear the pundits don’t even try to THINK anymore.

  37. PsiCop says:

    Just goes to show that Rove and most of the Right are raging paranoiacs. I saw nothing partisan in this ad, and certainly no footprints of the White House in it. That the US has been in a recession and that Detroit was hit particularly hard by it are facts that both parties agree on. Chrysler talking about recovering from it, is a kind of corporate cheerleading (in spite of the fact that the ad’s style is not “cheery” at all), and therefore also not partisan. It’s also patriotic, and that too is not partisan.

    Rove and the Right really need to get over their delusional thinking. There are treatments available for their illness, they ought to avail themselves of them, and not inflict them on the rest of the country.

  38. aleck says:

    That’s just sour grapes. Republicans are miffed that auto bailout actually worked. They’d rather see us plunge in chaos than dems succeed.

  39. NC106PH says:

    I think the add was good…but it is now an ad by a company of an Italian car maker (Fiat) and what used to be a German car company (Daimler)….sorta weakens the whole American vibe.

  40. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Karl rove is an idiot. His buddy Bush backed the auto bailouts to the tune of $700 billion dollars. It’s not like Obama single-handedly funded the bailouts and is 100% responsible for helping to save these companies, so I am not sure why he is singling out Obama (actually I do, it’s because he is a moronic douche.)

    Plus, I hate to point this out, but Chrysler purchased the ad and can say what they want and support whatever ideals they want. All of those free market no government regulation crazies are happy to shout that crap from the roof tops unless the freedoms work against their political party.

  41. Swins says:

    I thought it was perfect considering how horrible the halftime show was, I thought of it more as a commentary on Madonna’s performance.

  42. madfrog says:

    I have no problem with this, I liked the spot.

    Not that Clint was scary in his heyday(or still isn’t), but if it had featured Chuck Norris people who be too scared to say anything.
    http://www.thechucknorrisfacts.com/

  43. MPD01605 says:

    “Fox Business has mistakenly reported that the ad was been pulled down from YouTube, when in fact it is alive and well on the Chrysler YouTube page and has already tallied more than 4.2 million views since Sunday night.”

    No, it had been taken down, in a copyright claim by the NFL. The video was subsequently put back up.
    Fox Business CORRECTLY reported that the ad was pulled down.
    You should have said “The ad was mistakenly pulled down from YouTube after a false copyright claim by NFL, but is now alive and well on the Chrysler YouTube page….”, since many other new outlets reported the same thing (with screenshots).
    Facts, man.
    Also, grammar.

  44. JMH says:

    The same Clint Eastwood who endorsed McCain in 2008? That’s the one they think is being a mouthpiece for Obama? I just want to make sure I’m getting this right.

    • JMH says:

      (Personally, I find it much more bothersome that the only industry we can think of that’s symbolic of a revival in America is something as antiquated as the auto industry.)

  45. BigDragon says:

    Consumerist, there’s a flaw in your story. FoxBusiness actually correctly reported that the ad was pulled from YouTube. The NFL’s copyright people are to blame for the fiasco.

    http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/technology/2012/02/nfl_copyright_monitor_threw_fl.html

  46. Zydia says:

    I hate commercials that don’t even talk about the product, unless they are entertaining (Volkswagen). Either way, it won’t make me more likely to buy it.

  47. tooluser says:

    The barber shop in Gran Torino closed shortly after the film was made.

  48. DragonThermo says:

    I don’t like my tax dollars being used to buy political ads purchased by government-owned corporations.

    When a government-owned corporation like Chrysler says “It’s halftime America,” clearly they mean halftime in the reign of Caesar Obammus. Especially since Obama was the biggest supporter of the “too big to fail” nonsense, who had decided to use taxpayer’s money to purchase Chrysler.