Will Romney punt his slogan?
A post to Romney's campaign blog features the slogan.
October 12th, 2012
06:04 PM ET
2 years ago

Will Romney punt his slogan?

(CNN) - It may be game over for one of Mitt Romney's favorite slogans.

On the trail recently, the GOP presidential nominee has been quoting a line popularized by the television show "Friday Night Lights." But the show's creator is calling a penalty.

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Writer-director Peter Berg sent a letter to Romney's campaign Friday, flagging them for using the phrase, "Clear eyes, full heart, can't lose," on the campaign trail.

"I was not thrilled when I saw that you have plagiarized this expression to support your campaign," Berg, who came up with the phrase, wrote in the letter, which was obtained by the Hollywood Reporter. "Your politics and campaign are clearly not aligned with the themes we portrayed in our series."

The slogan was used as a motivational line on the show, which centers around a high school football team in Texas. The popular series, which ran from 2006-2011, was based off the movie and book with the same name.

Romney has said the phrase in several stump speeches, and it was used as the subject line for an email sent to supporters. It also appears on the campaign's website in a photo of Romney touching what appears to be a sign in a campaign office with the phrase displayed.

In the letter, Berg said the only "relevant comparison" he can see between Romney and the show is Buddy Garrity, a character who "turned his back on American car manufacturers selling imported cars from Japan," he wrote.

He added Romney's use of the phrase "inappropriately" associates the show with the campaign.

"Please come up with your own campaign slogan," Berg concludes.

The twist?

The writer of the original book, a 1990 best seller, expressed his support for Romney earlier this week. Buzz Bissinger penned a column for The Daily Beast endorsing the candidate.

While he was on the fence earlier in the race, Bissinger said the "tipping point" was Romney's performance in the first presidential debate.

"Romney finally did what he should have done all along instead of his balky cha cha with the old white men of the conservative Republican wing: he acted as the moderate he is, for the first time running as himself, not against himself, embracing his record as governor of Massachusetts," he wrote.

Romney's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Berg's letter.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Pete

    Boy Romney just can't get anything right can he after the deceased Navy Seals mother recently told him not to use her sons name for political reasons and because she didn't trust him,nice tell off ha!! Truth hurts ha Romney!!

    October 12, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    Just like believe in BAIN-CAPITAL., THIS TAX CHEAT IS SO PATHETIC. Tell him to show 12 years of taxes. USA has guts–tell him to show.

    October 12, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  3. Lee in Iowa

    I'm glad to see that at least one CNN news outlet seems to be trying for balanced reporting! The television arm of your company has been working hard this election season to alienate me as a viewer by becoming "Fox Lite."

    Please–don't!! Keep in mind, there are more registered Democrats than Republicans, and a huge portion of voting-aged Americans are also Independents.

    October 12, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  4. Just the facts

    The economy has created 5 million jobs in the last 30+ months. We haven't had a single negative jobs report in the last 30 months. The republicans/Bush left an economy in shambles (4.5 million jobs lost in bush's final year), a housing crisis, and a financial collapse. Obama righted the ship in his first year and a half and we've been CREATING jobs ever since. Plus he extended the solvency of Medicare until 2024 (if you repeal obamacare it goes insolvent in 2016!), while covering ALL pre-existing conditions (unlike romney's plan) and filling the prescription drug doughnut hole for seniors. And bush also left an ANNUAL deficit of 1.4 trillion (no republicans cared about that) that Obama is LOWERING as we speak (see today's headline). And he got Bin Laden and saved the GM/Chrysler. I'm voting Obama.

    October 12, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  5. Borderless

    Maybe Obama's politics and campaign are more in line with that elitist one-percenter's show. Let's see, is it about offering hush money to companies so they won't warn their workers about being laid off so the president can be re-elected? Is it about betraying your ambassador post-mordem by marginalizing the events that lead to his death and then lying about it? Maybe it's about offering federal grants to corporations that contribute to your campaign. Or maybe it's just an insignificant raunchy little teen show that panders to jerks and pedophiles. Ya, I agree, Mr. Berg. Quotes from such a show are more suited to the Obama campaign.

    October 12, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  6. Lahdee Dah

    Wow, tough week for Mitt. First the mother of the murdered Navy Seal he'd been using as a prop asks him to stop, now he's called out on stealing copyrighted content. What's next? Oh, yeah, we'll get to hear more about the coal workers that were intimidated into appearing with him during a campaign stop.

    October 12, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  7. 2020

    Romney just never learned, if you can borrow, steal.

    October 12, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Depends on whether that can be called intellectual property or not.

    Obviously, berg is a Dem, and can't stand the thought of a Republican getting any benefit from anything berg is involved with.

    The petty people are always petty.

    October 12, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  9. Legalize Reason

    How about: "Smears, Lies, Full Pockets, Will Lose".

    October 12, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  10. Fortinbras

    The theocrats and tea party have already lost. Next is the defeat of the plutocrats. Obama 2012!

    October 12, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  11. beevee

    This guy Romney is an expert in plagiarizing – he not only plaziarized Berg's phrases but he is also taking president Obama's policies and spinning them as his own. Now this guy is a centrist, moderate republican suddenly? Up until a week ago he was pandering to the right wingers left and right. It all boils down to one simple fact Romney is an untrastable pandering liar. He probably suffers from multiple personality disorder and fooling people.

    October 12, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  12. geo

    This is hilarious that everytime the GOP plagiarizes a song or a phrase or whatever, they have to cede because the writer does not share the same political beliefs.

    October 12, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  13. Marie MD

    Poor twit. Does anyone like this guy except for the right wing racist zealots?
    Anyone explain to that bim bo who kept saying that the President is a communist what communism really is?
    Anymore religions(graham's the latest) besides his own that the twit can try to adhere himself to since he can't tout his?

    October 12, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  14. wakeupamerica

    Lame Mitt. You cannot even come up with your own slogan.

    October 12, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  15. krehator

    Romney wants the us to be like China. That's how he made his money.

    October 12, 2012 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  16. oneandonly

    Wishing romney would just go away. What a phony.

    October 13, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  17. Dan Slaby

    Romney robber baron of 2012 bashes China while making enormous profits in China investments

    October 13, 2012 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  18. enuff

    Romney really has not had one original thought towards anything in his campaign, but continues to "borrow" from anything he can come across. There is no twist... the author did not use line. It came from the TV show.

    October 13, 2012 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  19. MaryM

    Romney has flip flopped and lied so many times Romney himself does not know what he stands for onr day till the next

    October 13, 2012 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  20. Donkey Party

    Lie, steal, and cheat. It's all Romney and the GOP are capable of.

    October 13, 2012 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  21. Oscar Kabibbler

    How dare those nasty liberal media hollywood types tell mitt he can't use their intellectual property. They must think they own what they produced.

    October 13, 2012 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  22. Name Bill R

    Romneys record in Massachusetts what a joke 47th in jobs when he left MASS. He touted that educatuion was #1 in the country that was due to the hard work of dedicated educators in spite of Romney pink slipping more teachers under his leadership than at any other time. Infrastructer record horrible. I live in Mass Romney was a terrible Governor he claimed he didnt raise taxes no but he increased fees 2 to 3X for things such as hunting fees motor vehicle fees marriage licenses I cant believe folks arent hammering him on this issues

    October 13, 2012 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  23. Dar

    So I guess we can't say "Your Fired" on Nov 6th without being sued by Donald Trump.
    OH well, I will take my chances, I have waited 4 years to it.

    October 13, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  24. Steve- Illinois

    The Hollywood libs are at it again. Too bad they don't put their money where their mouth is, and send the Fed a check, instead of just shooting off their mouths!

    October 13, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  25. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Nothing new here. The Romney/Ryan ticket is one unoriginal snoozefest.

    October 13, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |