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. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Who really cares who Clint Eastwood endorses? After all, Eastwood has never held public office. His opinion and endorsement are irrelevent. And his endorsement is even more irrelevent especially when he endorses a first class embezzler and tax evader.

    August 5, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. Yeahona

    Surprise endorsement – really? I could have seen that coming with my eyes shut! Next sensationalized headline that means nothing please.

    August 5, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. Marie MD

    This story is still around? Good because when the elitist teapublikkans and rethugs start on the Obama Administration about those "Hollywood stars" now they have to keep their traps shut!
    They have nugent, who called Hillary Clinton a *itch and suggested something about a killing(?), hank williams jr whose claim to fame was Monday Night Football (and we don't miss you), chuck norris, and now this aged dirty harry.
    You can't have it both ways flip flopper and staff. Another thing you can't use against the President. Too bad :)

    August 5, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  4. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Who cares who Clint Eastwood endorses? After all, Eastwood has never held public office and his endorsement is even more irrelevent especially when he endorses a first class embezzler and tax evader.

    August 5, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    Already Super bowl ad spoke clear and loud

    August 5, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. RCA

    Consider Eastwoods AGE and the amount of money he wants to keep.
    I can not believe anybody who searches for the FACTS would consider Mit. MIT is another GW.

    August 5, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. Ricardo

    Where's donald trump why does he ask romney to release his tax return for the last ten years. As he asked for obama's birth certificate. Oh sorry trump=romney they don't pay taxes

    August 5, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  8. keyser

    That's because Eastwood has a lot of money and he knows Romney is going to let him keep and shelter it while Obama on the other hand is going to make him pay his fair share.

    August 5, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  9. superior truth king of all the lesser-knowing

    It's obvious that we all know mitt RMoney is a bad choice for CIC.

    August 5, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. littletingod

    So Clint. What exactly do you consider "a decent tax system"? One where you and your millionaire/billionaire friends pay zero taxes and people living one paycheck to the next (assuming they are even getting paychecks) pay 100% to support you and your kind? And what do you mean by "restore"? When did we ever have a decent, not to mention, fair tax system?

    August 5, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. trex

    Well, that seals the 12 Dirty Harry imitator's votes for Romney............

    August 5, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. putusabackontop

    Those from the left that still push the "class warfare" argument need to realize that it's fiction. They try to make the point that republicans are wealthy and demcrats aren't. 7 of the top 10 richest menbers of congress are democrats. I would also invite people to question the honesty of their representatives when they go into office with a net worth of a couple of hundred thousand, serve 4 or 6 years at a salary of $174,000 per year and presto-chango 6 years later (or 4) they suddenly have a net worth of 6 million.... no books written, and if they earned the money through speaking fees, it would have to be at least 100 speeches per year at typical paid rates.

    August 5, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. Hap

    Actually Clint was Mayor of Carmel, Ca. However, considering he is a millionaire and one of the 1% his endorsement, weak as it is, shows his bias.

    August 5, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. gino

    Apparently Mitt the Twit doesn't understand the film context of the line "Make my day." Or maybe he just want to shoot someone.

    August 5, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. DaisyinNY

    another old, rich, white, guy who wants to keep his money....this is supposed to be "shocking"?

    August 5, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. Getoverit

    @ Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Who really cares who Clint Eastwood
    endorses? After all, Eastwood has never
    held public office.
    -----------------
    Clint Eastwood was Mayor of Carmel, CA. You should check your facts before spewing your hatred.

    August 5, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  17. Rob

    Poor Clint. Romney doesnt stand a chance! BWAH!

    August 5, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. sim namore

    Eastwood is white, wealthy and senile–so what do you expect?

    August 5, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. LIB

    WHo cares? We have Betty White. Sad Clint Eastwood whose wife is disrespecting him on reality tv. Sad old white men.

    August 5, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. SPQR

    Hopefully Mr. Eastwood doesn't have to regret his decision later.

    August 5, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  21. JohnRJohnson

    All I can say is that I am very disappointed in Eastwood. I think he must live in a conservative bubble up there in Monterey. I suppose that I have just have trouble imagining any person of average or above intelligence supporting Mitt Romney, who has made an utter fool of himself since his campaign for president began more than 4 years ago.

    August 5, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  22. canchange

    MR: Mitt Romney for president and Mr: Rick Santourum vice president 2012 >GOD BLESS AMERICA AND MARK LEVIN

    August 5, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. DV

    Clint thinks he's not rich enough

    August 5, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. Robert Gleason

    Didn't the republicans lambast Clint Eastwood for his super bowl commercial? Now he is the voice of god... I guess republicans hang around the stars too. No longer can they use that one on President Obama.

    August 5, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  25. Luca

    A self-made, hard working patriotic man (Clint) supports another self-made hard working patriotic man (Romney) – Makes sense to me.

    August 5, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
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