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. John Tighe

    This is sad. He must be getting senile.

    August 5, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. revensaw

    Its sad to see the early signs of Alzheimers setting in. good bye Clint.

    August 5, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. TamarS

    this is no surprise. eastwood is a wealthy man wanting to support another wealthy man and both want to preserve the unequal status quo.

    August 5, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. AaronT3

    I respected Clint until now. He always portrayed outstanding characters with a deliberate sense of right and wrong that helped those that needed it. Now I know it's acting but John "The Duke" Wayne, Andy S. Griffith, and Micheal (Lil' Joe) Landon were actors too, and on and off camera stood for RIGHT!. Clint just made my day sad. . .

    August 5, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Mor Man NO!

    Eastwood endores Romney, why, because his wife is backing Obama. Remember Romney does not believe 3:16. Please don't vote for a NON-Christian.

    August 5, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. Ricky L

    This is a surprise?? To Whom??

    Clint has been a well-known conservative for decades.

    This is what America stands for.

    And I'm a liberal who believes in his right to choose his own candidate,

    August 5, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  7. Mirthful

    Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer: "Who really cares who Clint Eastwood endorses? After all, Eastwood has never held public office."

    He was the mayor of Carmel, CA. He is also one of the most successful Hollywood actors/producers/directors of all time. Famous people's endorsements are often considered worth a great deal.

    August 5, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. finally, a hollywood star with the courage to do the right thing

    im sure many willl now call clint a racist for not endorsing obama...lol...

    america under obama is divided...and obama is responsible for INCREASING the divide, not healing it...he ran on bringing all groups together, and instead, has now run his re-election on dividing groups...black vs. white, illegal vs. legal, latino vs. republican, men vs. women, catholic vs. atheist, black harvard professor vs. white boston cop, black trayvon vs. white justice, jew vs. anti semite...you name it, he's worsened it.

    Is that the hope and change guy you all voted for?

    I think the worst shame of it all is that the mostly left wing big network media refuse to really dig into this angry campaign of divide that obama has chosen to run on.It is a total abdication of the media to hold ANY candidate's feet to the fire.

    August 5, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. Rasputin

    Clint's endorsement and $1 won't even get you a cup of coffee at McDonalds. This is non-news.

    August 5, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. John Tighe

    The Bush era policies that Romney endorses will wreck the country in 20 years.
    Hardly a Liberal crusader, Obama's would take 50 years.

    August 5, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. Spike2014

    Finally!! Someone in Hollywood has a brain. While most of the Hollywood nut jobs are in live with Obama, Eastwood proves that all actors aren't simple minded idiots; just most.

    August 5, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. JohnM

    Let's see...Eastwood endorses Nixon, Ford, Regan, Bush1, Dole, Bush2, McCain and now Romney. BIG SURPRISE!!!! What a joke. Desperately trying to make a nice headline for Mitt huh?

    August 5, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. sadcon

    Is this still news? Who cares who Clint Eastwood endorses. He has no career that I can respect.

    August 5, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. 1zb1

    Eastwood is a long time registered Republican who also voted for GWBush (shows how little he knows), so how is this news that he supports Romney other then the fact he is supporting a flip-flopping draft dodging coward who is a bigot and anti woman.

    August 5, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. Cal

    Glad to see someone from Hollywood is using his influence to do the right thing.

    August 5, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. JohnM

    So Obama is to blame for divided politics? My GOD the ignorance of Republicans now days. On the day Obama was inaugurated the Congressional leadership got together with Rove and decided the only way to curb his popularity and ensure he fails was to give him ZERO cooperation on anything and then to blame him for not compromising when he has always gone 90% to get a deal and the Repubs refuse to go even 10%. Any time you read a post about obama being to blame for divided politics you can be 100% assured it was written by a Republican operative trying to keep the BIG LIE alive.

    August 5, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. do obama's hollywood supporters pay their "fair share"?

    you think any of pitt, penn, sarandon, clooney, hanks, garofalo, spielberg, weinstein pay their "fair share? I can almost guarantee you that none of them do and that all of them have tax shelters, off shore accounts, and fancy expensive tax lawyers who advise them on how to hide their bloated massive wealth. and yet, as obama chastises the wealthy, he is busy raising money from these tax cheaters.....

    can you say hypocrisy?

    August 5, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. Spike2014

    Typical Sunday morning for all the atheist liberals.....sitting at home spewing their hatred. Sad, really.

    August 5, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. anonymoose

    eastwood supports gun rights, right?
    as long as the people giving Romney money support gun rights we'll all be fine

    August 5, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. I remember the obstructionist democratic controlled congress in 2007

    do you? the democratic controlled congress under pelosi in 2007 decided to obstruct and crash the recovering economy in 2007....why? to get their candidate elected in 2008. how'd they do it? using fanny mae and freddie mac...barney frank..nancy peolis, harry reid....the original obstructionists.

    August 5, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  21. JohnM

    So what's wrong with being an athiest other than I don't think like you think I should? If small minded people want to believe that God created tiny little beings on the planet Earth just so they can get up early on a Sunday morning and go down on their hands and knees in front of an alter to worship him then go ahead and believe it as long as that gets you through your day. No God that requires worship and adulation is worth my time. I prefer to believe in a universe that is significantly more camplex and wonderful.

    August 5, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. Lando

    Yeah....Romney save my tax dollars..I'd rather have my green keepers at Peble Beach Golf Course get the tax increase.
    Please fight for us the 1% Club, since you are our leader, your tax proposal is to our advantage....sweet. Also,
    when you become POTUS, we will bring back the Bush policies that will sink the middle class...who cares about those
    punks.

    August 5, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. LindaPP

    Clint Eastwood is rich so of course he will back the candidate who wants to keep him rich and make sure he gets richer. No surprise.

    August 5, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  24. kathleenc

    The Red states will be happy but to everyone else his endorsement is a non issue. A ultra wealthy conservative man who is unhappy with how much taxes he has to pay supports an ultra wealthy conservative man who won't reveal how much taxes he pays. It will make my day when Pres. Obama is re-elected. Neither Clint Eastwood nor Romeny have any idea what Pres. Obama walked into or what they would have done differently. Pres. Obama's actions helped save the automobile industry no matter whom Mr. Eastwood supports.

    August 5, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  25. bro

    Not surprised, both "B" grade actors

    August 5, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
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