August 4th, 2012
12:13 AM ET
2 years ago

Romney lands Clint Eastwood endorsement

Sun Valley, Idaho (CNN) - It could have been a scene from one of his films, but fortunately for Mitt Romney, it was no act when Clint Eastwood endorsed him Friday night.

At a fundraiser in the Idaho resort town of Sun Valley, where Eastwood owns a home, Romney said the legendary actor and director "just made my day."

But Eastwood showed up at the Sun Valley resort as a citizen concerned about the direction of the country, telling reporters beforehand he was backing the Republican presidential candidate "because I think the country needs a boost somewhere."

He later told hundreds at the outdoor reception that Romney was "going to restore, hopefully, a decent tax system that we need badly...so that there's a fairness and people are not pitted against one another as to who's paying taxes and who isn't."

The 82-year-old also weighed in on the controversy involving U.S. Olympians, depending on their income bracket, getting taxed on their medals.

"[W]e don't want anybody taking away the Olympic medals tax-wise from the Olympic athletes. I mean it's kind of embarrassing," Eastwood said. "Here we are, trillions of dollars in debt, and here the government's talking about getting a couple nickels, in their language."

Romney introduced Eastwood to more than 200 people, "There's a guy here from the world of acting who has pursued his dreams in a very unusual way. He stood up to the industry and sort of did it his own way."

Eastwood learned about Romney when he was filming Mystic River in Massachusetts.

"And at that time Gov. Romney was running for governor and I kept seeing him appear on television all the time and I said 'God this guy, he's too handsome to be governor, but he does look like he could be president," he said as the audience laughed. "And as the years have gone by, I begin to think even more so about that."

Eastwood managed to keep his endorsement private until he showed up at the fundraiser, which helped raise more than $2 million for the Victory Fund, a joint effort between the Romney campaign and the RNC.

He arrived in sunglasses, gray sneakers, tie and blazer along with his signature dry sense of humor, joking with reporters when asked why he decided to endorse Romney. "I haven't endorsed the governor...Oh yeah, no I just did."

Before this TV producer started to record our brief exchange, Eastwood warned that filming him would steal his soul.

Reuters reporter Sam Youngman made a reference to a Super Bowl ad about Detroit starring Eastwood, which at the time stirred speculation he might be supporting President Barack Obama.

"Is this your second act of half time in America endorsing Romney," asked Youngman, to which Eastwood replied, "Maybe."


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (156 Responses)
  1. James

    More rich white people, supporting Romney. Shocking

    August 4, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  2. BWJRfromWSFL

    Old Caucasian guy endorses ...similar old Caucasian guy. I'm convinced that existence of politics is simply a perpetual distraction to occupy our time, rather than allowing each of us the opportunity to focus on the real issue at hand, corporate America's choke-hold on maintaining control, power and therefore ownership of America and all of her citizens. Banks, insurance companies, politicians, the military industrial complex, the treasury and IRS, our penal system, localized government and its mistresses and other cronies all existing to solely create the illusion of freedom, democracy and unity, though in actuality... the majority are little more than modernized slaves to our own culture and civilization. Patriotism is lunacy.

    August 4, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  3. tony

    Now it's a three-way race, Obama the good, Romney the Bad and Clint the Ugly

    August 4, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  4. Anna B

    who really cares?

    August 4, 2012 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  5. Donkey Party

    Was wondering when the Alzheimer's was going to set in...

    August 4, 2012 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  6. Ruthie

    What a disappointment

    August 4, 2012 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  7. Howard

    Clint Eastwood is a true American, who can tell the difference between a competent man of character, and a self serving, corrupt con man.

    August 4, 2012 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  8. WeR4Freedom

    Romney/Eastwood 2012

    August 4, 2012 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  9. BigSir

    "going to restore, hopefully, a decent tax system that we need badly...so that there's a fairness and people are not pitted against one another as to who's paying taxes and who isn't." – Clint...all I can say is..."A man's got to know his limitations"
    You are way off here.

    August 4, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  10. SwissMitt

    No surprise the rich supporting the mega rich.

    August 4, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  11. Tim Moore

    Clint I liked you...

    August 4, 2012 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  12. dougandjanet

    I don't pay any attention to these celebrity endorsements (liberal or conservative). The celebs are fundraising glitter for both parties.

    However, I do pay attention to the charity work done by many of the same celebs. People like Eastwood, Clooney, Bono, and Pitt (among others) do a lot of hands-on charitable work. They don't just show up once a year at a fundraiser. They educate themselves on the problem; they talk to local people; they visit to see first hand both the problem and the solutions.

    I like celebs for their talent. But I admire them when they strive to do so much more.

    August 4, 2012 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  13. Sam

    Well...It's a free country, and Dirty Harry can endorse whoever he wants...Right Punk?

    August 4, 2012 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  14. dkl

    wonderful to have someone like Clint endorse Romney... love it... made my day too!

    August 4, 2012 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  15. dougandjanet

    I don't care about celeb endorsements.

    I do care about their non-celeb activities. Eastwood is one star that has done a lot of hands-on work with charities, in local politics (as Mayor), etc. Good for him.

    August 4, 2012 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  16. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Thanks Clint, I won't watch any more of you films...

    August 4, 2012 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  17. Jean2

    Guns, guns and more gun. "From his dead hands" – what about the dead bodies of our childern, friends and famly members???????????

    August 4, 2012 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  18. Miroslava

    Et tu, Brutus?

    August 4, 2012 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  19. Thomas

    Why wouldn't he .

    He supported GW Bush twice !

    August 4, 2012 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  20. Cam Spurgeon

    I am disappointed my Hero. Clint, not Mitt. Cmon Clint..you might be great but just another white man huh...Oh well whatever/ Did U all invite any middle class to the Aspen event?

    August 4, 2012 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  21. Miroslava

    On second thought: You're that old guy with the gun – Dirty Harry!

    August 4, 2012 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  22. enuff

    First off, so what? Second, I don't recall Obama putting the tax on medals in the tax code. So why are the repubs trying to make it look like he's the one behind it? Congress could do something about it... but wait, they're on a break.

    August 4, 2012 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  23. Eddie B.

    Disappointed in Eastwood. What tax rate is he talking about Romney restoring where there is a fairness? The only tax rate Romney wants is more cuts for the rich.

    August 4, 2012 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  24. James Watson

    One multimillionaire ($85 million) supports another multimillionaire ($200 million).

    The former says that the latter is "going to restore, hopefully, a decent tax system that we need badly... so that there's a fairness..."

    Sounds like the script of a surreal movie, except no-one is his right mind would make this up.

    August 4, 2012 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  25. Bob Franks

    Why do all the Presidental moderators have to be Democrates?

    Wouldn't it be good to throw in one Republican moderator?

    I understand this year – all moderators have given big $$$$ to Obama and DNC – but none to republicans!

    Without ANY Republican moderators, we will hear questions about abortion and gun rights – but not a word about the economy!

    And manufactures plan HUGE layoffs in Dec! And the press refuses to cover it!

    August 4, 2012 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
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