Clint Eastwood has cleared up rumors, saying "I am certainly not affiliated with Obama," after a day of controversy over the political implications of his "Halftime in America" Super Bowl commercial for Chrysler.
It was speculated that the Chrysler commercial he narrated was a pitch for Obama's economic policy. It featured his expression of hope about a nationwide economic recovery, particularly given the recent growth in the auto industry.
"This country can't be knocked out with one punch," he said in the commercial. "We get right back up again and when we do, the world is going to hear the roar of our engines."
Chrysler was one of the companies saved in President Obama's 2009 auto bailout, that Eastwood publicly opposed, however.
The longtime Republican voter told Fox's O'Reilly Factor producer Ron Mitchell Monday night that "it was meant to be a message about job growth and the spirit of America."
While he said he was not supporting any politician at this time, he would not object to either party referencing his message. "If Obama or any other politician wants to run with the spirit of that ad, go for it," he said.
Fox News contributor Karl Rove criticized the ad early yesterday, saying it was "a sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics, and the President of the United States and his political minions are, in essence, using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising."
Eastwood's manager Leonard Hirshan, responded to Rove's criticism in NY Magazine by also saying the commercial was not intended to be political.
"I think that Rove and everybody, if they're sensible, would wonder why a longtime 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," declared Hirshan.
"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 [public service announcement]. Period."