GOP use of Ben Affleck movie clip riles Dems
July 27th, 2011
02:44 PM ET
3 years ago

GOP use of Ben Affleck movie clip riles Dems

Washington, D.C. (CNN) - The Democratic National Committee went after Republicans for using a violent movie clip to incite unity at a House Conference meeting Tuesday.

In the scene, from "The Town," actors Ben Affleck and Jeremy Renner hold a short pep talk, where one tells the other that he needs his help as they go "hurt some people." They then drive off to an apartment and bludgeon two men.

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz called the use of the clip a "sad metaphor" of how Republicans have acted during negotiations to raise the debt ceiling.

"They could have used 'Hoosiers,' 'Rudy' or 'Band of Brothers'," Wasserman Schultz said in a press conference Wednesday. "But this was the choice they made."

Affleck, who also wrote and directed "The Town," responded to the incident Wednesday from Turkey, where he's working on his next movie, "Argo."

"I don't know if this is a compliment or the ultimate repudiation– but if they're going to be watching movies, I think 'The Company Men' is more appropriate," Affleck said in a statement.

In 2010's "The Company Men," Affleck stars as a white-collar worker who loses his job when the recession forces his corporation to downsize.

The Florida congresswoman interpreted Tuesday's movie clip as Republicans wanting to hurt either the Democrats and President Obama in the debt talks–or the American people through entitlement cuts.

"Now is the time for compromise, not for pain," Wasserman Schultz said.

Republicans, meanwhile, brushed off the attacks and said the DNC is focused on the wrong issue.

"With our country in the midst of a debt crisis, Debbie Wasserman Schultz should spend more time pushing her president to put forth a debt ceiling plan and less time holding press conferences about movies," said Kirsten Kukowski, press secretary for the Republican National Committee.

Schultz was joined by Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, who said Americans deserve better behavior among lawmakers.

But when asked by a reporter if Democrats had ever shown violent movies to "fire up the troops," Clyburn recalled a time when "Braveheart" was shown at a caucus meeting after Republicans took over the House majority.

Clyburn said the clip was used "as a metaphor for us maintaining our own faith in the process."

soundoff (282 Responses)
  1. Dan J

    Wasserman-Schultz is one to criticize. I'm pretty sure she spits acidic venom every time she opens her mouth.

    July 27, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. Me

    Maybe the GOP party is just a bunch of Affleck fans. He's a notorious suporter of, oh, wait, no he isn't. Okay, they were just going for the violence.

    July 27, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. bad journalism

    why does the tag line for this story read "Ben Affleck movie riles Dems"? that is so misleading and irresponsible. it was republican use of a specific clip from the movie that riled people. but i'm thinking CNN did that because they thought it would lure in more traffic. terrible journalism. but unfortunately typical for CNN.

    July 27, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. sue

    The only road left for the Republicans is DOWN.....selling out America to these Tea Party thugs that had them sign Pledges not to raise Taxes, not coming together in a bipartician manner to cut spending, balance the budget, and lifting the debt ceiling.....the only road left for them is the road of trash....which they have done and continue to do everytime they talk about this President....They were going to create jobs they promised if they won the majority of the House.....have they created any? They are to busy trying to make this President be a one timer, so you can forget them doing anything for this country, the economy, jobs, debt, spending and anything else till after the 2012 elections.....but even if they won they still wouldn't do anything for Americans like you and me, only for the Rich, Big Corporations, and the Powerful and they will strip us of our money (Social Security, Medicare) that we in good faith let the government take out of our checks so we would have something in our Senior years.......never trust a Republican again because he is being pushed and threatened by the Tea Party to do as they say or ELSE.....else what? They are not the majority of this country, so why are they trying so hard to please them.....Oh Yes I forgot they also have their pockets filled with the Rich and Powerfull people of this country and God forbid they do anything to anger them, then they would lose all their contributions.......

    July 27, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. CPW

    Yikes. Desperate times call for desperate measures...?

    July 27, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    It wasn't necessarly a threat. I think it was clearly just a metaphorical reminder to the GOP caucus how much they've ALREADY BEEN HAVING and will continue to have giving the middle-class a thoroughly world-class beatdown if they can just get back into goose-steppin' rhythm and keep the eye on their number 1 mutual goal of making Obama a one term POTUS no matter who has to suffer in the meantime.

    July 27, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. Aeromechanic.

    “With our country in the midst of a debt crisis, Debbie Wasserman Schultz should spend more time pushing her president to put forth a debt ceiling plan and less time holding press conferences about movies,” said Kirsten Kukowski, press secretary for the Republican National Committee.

    This is what the RNC has to say? "....her president"?

    Barack Obama is the President to all US citizens, not just someone in the Democratic party. This proves a point that the GOP's real goal is to throw the US into chaos and do everything they can to cast any Democrat in bad light. The GOP only cares about the super rich.

    July 27, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. Former Republican, now an Independent

    The Dems are correct in this assessment. Ironically, this violent clip actually resembles the republican's approach to issues more than democrats. The republicans know all about fear mongering, after after 8 years of controlling the American public with false fears. They demonstrated this fear and hate talk more recently in causing the shooting of Rep. Giffords. It is the Sarah Palin/Fox News type of irresponsible fear mongering and hate messages, that prompts many average Americans to entertain the radical extremist views of these "jihadist neo-cons" that have destroyed the republican party.

    July 27, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. NorthDakotaDude

    Seriously? With everything going on this is what they are whining about now? God. Can we just start over with all the officials in government already. The people we have in there are so far detached, corrupt or just incompetent it is sad.

    July 27, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. denise

    Everybody in Washington D.C., please, grow up!

    July 27, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Wonder why they didn't use the "Palin" movie as a crap shot since it lost big time just like the GOP/tea baggers will lose.

    July 27, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Skteve

    That the Republicans would show any clip from Ben Affleck says it all

    July 27, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Oregon

    The political climate in this country is disgusting and embarrassing. Republicans love to say they are speaking "for the American people"....what a joke that is. Obama's speech was partisan and so was Boehner's. Although at least Obama's was more than hyperbole, false generalizations, and bumper sticker talking points. I wish he had explained why cut, cap, and balance is such a bad bill. The sooner that both parties realize that neither of them speak for the American people (which is a major part of the problem) and the sooner they realize that the majority of us want compromise and concessions from both sides (massive spending cuts and revenue increases), the sooner we can get back on track. Thanks Fox News and MSNBC for this hyper partisan environment, we've been driven apart and lost our commonality as Americans...makes me very sad. That Gang of 6 plan was the best one we've seen, and we weren't smart enough to pull the damn trigger.

    July 27, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. GOP Hate America

    Funny how conservatives try and use that liberal Hollywood establishment they criticize so much to get their useless point across.

    July 27, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    The biggest question about next year's elections is whether people will forget who the Republicans work for when the tsunami of corporate and billionaire money deluges TV, radio, Internet, print and and telephones.

    July 27, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. Jason

    Give me a break. Really. The Dems have no substance. They are all rhetoric and no plan. Their only plan is to continue big government and business as usual. This is what got this country to where it is right now. Obama has been president for 3 years now. This is his economy. He has spent more than any president in history by multiples. 4 more years of Obama and there will no longer be a United States of America. We will become a wholly owned subsidiary of China by the time Obama is done.

    July 27, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. sharky

    @MB Seattle–

    Funny enough so are the Democrats.

    July 27, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. zoundsman

    If this is legal to display copyrighted material at a public gathering, then it's wide open for exploitation of
    thousands of clips to be twisted out of context and used to bolster all kinds of causes. If I was an actor, I'd be
    incensed if I felt opposite the use of my image in whatever is being promoted.

    July 27, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. CharlieB

    Stop whining democraps, get back to work

    July 27, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. tamashi

    But when asked by a reporter if Democrats had ever shown violent movies to "fire up the troops," Clyburn recalled a time when "Braveheart" was shown at a caucus meeting after Republicans took over the House majority.
    Clyburn said the clip was used "as a metaphor for us maintaining our own faith in the process."

    -----------

    Pot meet kettle.

    July 27, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz shall from this day forth be known as "Horse Face". Though she usually acts like the other end....

    July 27, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. Don

    This woman is a nut job. What an embarassment.

    July 27, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. gmh

    DXinTX I agree with you 100%.
    Also, if the Republican Party had devoted as much time, energy and dedication to JOBS rather than trying to defeat President Obama we would have been back on track to prosperity. Instead, trying to defeat Obama may just mean the down fall for all Americans.

    July 27, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. sammieb51

    The Neanderthals are Back! Bunch of hose-heads.

    July 27, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. Ozzie

    Republican Family Values rise again.

    July 27, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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