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. oldbikerbeatch

    Always liked and respected Mr Eastwood for his acting and directing talent – now I have another reason to respect him – his intelligence and political support for Mr. Romney. While all the Hollywood bozos, in between their arrests for drugs, shoplifting, alcohol intoxication, car accidents and divorces, support a man for President that is as phony as the roles they play, Mr Eastwood is firmly in the ranks of that rare commodity in Hollywood – an entertainer that has a brain.

    August 5, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  2. Matt

    Lost all respect. Can't believe any half-way intelligent person would back the sociopathic "Romney the Liar".

    August 5, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  3. Thatguy371

    Extra Extra! Read all about it! Old repub rich guy endorses repub rich guy for prez!

    And, somehow, this is news?

    August 5, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. SNAPPA

    I'm wondering how you can endorse someone based on a "fair" tax policy the guy doesn't even have yet? Romney hasn't even put forth any kind of detailed plan on how he will pay for any of his foolish ideas. A tax cut for the rich paid for by the middle class? Clint endorses that? I don't think Clint is all there anymore, there can be no other reason he would endorse a loser.

    August 5, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. M-W-T

    Mitt Romnay--THE WORST REPUBLICAN IN THE COUNTRY
    Always go with what your gut feeling tells you.......Mine says

    "MITT ROMNEY IS STILL THE WORST REPUBLICAN IN THE COUNTRY"

    August 5, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. jan

    Largely Clint Eastwood has always been Republican. Sometimes he's strayed to agree with an Independent's platform and maybe even a Democrat's platform. In the absolute MANIA OF TODAY'S REPUBLICAN PARTY he flirted with swaying again by doing that AD which he said was neutral but, in my opinion, definitely had a Democratic Lean. Clint just couldn't admit he was with the Democrats. He had to leave the door open to go running back LIKE A WIMP!!! And sure enough President Obama gave the WIMP a reason to go running back! In the face of the rampant carnage of the innocent that is plaguing our country the President spoke up for GUN CONTROL, and that was all the WIMP needed!!! THAT TOUGH GUY IS JUST A SMALL/BIG SCREEN FICTIONAL CHARACTER!!!!

    August 5, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. Puddin

    Does anyone know....is he suffering from dementia and has no idea of who he's endorsed? Bless his heart; I still like his movies, though.

    August 5, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. jimbo

    "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."

    Apparently Clint's showing signs of Alzheimer's. Romney's tax plan is to give the richest yet another tax welfare break, and pay for it by increasing the tax burden on the middle and poorest classes. The notion that this would be more fair, and reduce people feeling "pitted against one another" is incomprehensible. Funny how those in line for a tax break think it's a great idea.

    August 5, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. Really?

    It sounds like Clint fell in love with Romney many years ago and that is why he is endorsing him because Clint doesn't know anything about Romney's tax plan if he believes it is fairer than Obama's.

    August 5, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. Lucky18

    Clint didn't have much to say about Romney, which is like all who support him! Haven't heard anyone say anything difinitive about Mr. Romney, other than his political hacks, who lie very well!!!

    August 5, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. Dave

    Looks like like Romney's got the old white far t vote wrapped up...

    August 5, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. warnat

    C'mon people...do some research before you just go bashing people. Why are Dems so hateful? I'm not saying Repubs aren't just as bad, but lately it seems as though every post I read on here from an obvious Dem is full of hate speech. I thought that was supposed to be the party of compassion???

    August 5, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. sayer

    Romney is a tax evader, draftdodger, bully, and was born with a silver foot in his mouth. President Obama is championing fairness. Clint, open your eyes and ears!

    August 5, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. svann

    Right, Eastwood says that he thinks its unfair that some people get taxed and others dont pay, and then in the same breath he says it isnt right that Olympians should NOT be taxed. Im not sure that the medal's intrinsic value is worth enough to count but the discrepancy in his thinking is blatant.

    August 5, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  15. likeaplan

    The Good The Bad And The Ugly

    August 5, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @Name

    What does Romney's money has to do with running for President? Mitt Romney hasn't paid taxes in 10 years, has ripped off the federal government and the American people and yet he says, trust me and give me your vote and you have the audacity to ask what does his money have to do with running for President? I'm afraid, its not his money.

    August 5, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  17. MB

    So Clint believes that Romney is going to enact a fair tax system. Well, fair to Clint and all the other multi-millionaires and billionaires.

    August 5, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  18. NotRepublicanTheseDays

    "He's good looking enough to be president" is his reason for backing Romney? I guess some people bet on horses in the Kentucky Derby based on the colors the jockey wears. Whatever floats your boat. Too bad some people think that such an endorsement is meaningful in any way.

    August 5, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  19. sonny

    Poor Clint is showing signs of going senile.

    August 5, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. batjones

    I dont think this is a blow to the Obama campaign. It is my understanding that Clint Eastwood is a Republican. CNN did not flesh out whether Mr. Eastwood supported President Obama in 2008. It is funny how the talking points for both sides have ready made attacks, dismissals and support for any endorsement. After the Super Bowl this winter, Republicans had Eastwood marked as another one of those Hollywood liberals, because he made a commercial stating the empirical fact that Detroit and the auto industry are moving forward to prosperity.

    August 5, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  21. John P.

    Why is this such a "surprise?" Eastwood also supported Bush, both times! The funny part is old Mittens is flaunting it like a dog with a new bone, yet when Obama has those "evil celebrities" supporting him, the GOP thinks that's just terrible. See the hypocrisy anyone? Laughable. The other logical reason is Eastwood sees a candidate who will protect the wealthy....duh!

    August 5, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  22. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    If he's good looking enough to be President, then Chris Christie should be his VP.

    August 5, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  23. VeryOldMan

    It's fitting that Eastwood endorse Romney. Eastwood also strongly endorsed Bush, who gave us Iraq War and Great Recession. Romney is essentially extending Bush's policy in domestic and foreign policies and he has the same group of people advise him.

    August 5, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  24. Joe

    Go "ahead" Mr.Rommney make are day!!!

    August 5, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  25. CarrotCakeMan

    It's a pity Mr. Eastwood has decided to end his career. The film industry is built on trust. If Mr. Eastwood is going to align himself with someone so UNTRUSTWORTHY as Willard Romney, how does he expect anyone in the industry to trust him again?

    August 5, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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