GOP use of Ben Affleck movie clip riles Dems
July 27th, 2011
02:44 PM ET
9 years ago

GOP use of Ben Affleck movie clip riles Dems

Washington, D.C. (CNN) - The Democratic National Committee went after Republicans for using a violent movie clip to incite unity at a House Conference meeting Tuesday.

In the scene, from "The Town," actors Ben Affleck and Jeremy Renner hold a short pep talk, where one tells the other that he needs his help as they go "hurt some people." They then drive off to an apartment and bludgeon two men.

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz called the use of the clip a "sad metaphor" of how Republicans have acted during negotiations to raise the debt ceiling.

"They could have used 'Hoosiers,' 'Rudy' or 'Band of Brothers'," Wasserman Schultz said in a press conference Wednesday. "But this was the choice they made."

Affleck, who also wrote and directed "The Town," responded to the incident Wednesday from Turkey, where he's working on his next movie, "Argo."

"I don't know if this is a compliment or the ultimate repudiation– but if they're going to be watching movies, I think 'The Company Men' is more appropriate," Affleck said in a statement.

In 2010's "The Company Men," Affleck stars as a white-collar worker who loses his job when the recession forces his corporation to downsize.

The Florida congresswoman interpreted Tuesday's movie clip as Republicans wanting to hurt either the Democrats and President Obama in the debt talks–or the American people through entitlement cuts.

"Now is the time for compromise, not for pain," Wasserman Schultz said.

Republicans, meanwhile, brushed off the attacks and said the DNC is focused on the wrong issue.

"With our country in the midst of a debt crisis, Debbie Wasserman Schultz should spend more time pushing her president to put forth a debt ceiling plan and less time holding press conferences about movies," said Kirsten Kukowski, press secretary for the Republican National Committee.

Schultz was joined by Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, who said Americans deserve better behavior among lawmakers.

But when asked by a reporter if Democrats had ever shown violent movies to "fire up the troops," Clyburn recalled a time when "Braveheart" was shown at a caucus meeting after Republicans took over the House majority.

Clyburn said the clip was used "as a metaphor for us maintaining our own faith in the process."

soundoff (282 Responses)
  1. David Goren

    Both parties pull this garbage, and both are far more interested in "winning" for the party than helping move the country out of debt. However, as the "lesser of two evils", at least the Republicans are trying to take aggressive action. We're in a huge hole, and we can't keep digging ourselves deeper. Unfortunately, we're stuck in needing to raise the debt ceiling to avoid default. We never should have gotten into this situation in the first place. Bush is to blame for some of it, and Obama has made it much worse. At least Republicans want to tie this move with a plan to cut costs. I would hardly call somebody trying to step up to plate "thugs", although I WILL call BOTH parties a bunch of self-serving children. We need a balaced budget amendment, and we need it now. The government was NOT designed to take care of us!

    July 28, 2011 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  2. Sissy

    At least they're admitting that their stated goal is to hurt somebody – this time the American people and the entire country for the sake of a few special interests,

    July 28, 2011 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  3. JonDie

    More of the GOP's "Jared Loughner" mentality.

    July 28, 2011 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  4. airbornevet

    That is a movie about N. Boston, a liberal town – the place where the idea of America started. The real 'Tea party" was here in this liberal town. The real place where the idea for the Liberal flag "Don't Tread on Me" formed. Republicans need to be watching NASCAR or rodeos to get 'ya'll' pumped up.
    Republicans are just idiots. The truth is, republicans hate America or are just that stupid.

    July 28, 2011 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  5. Dan

    Whatever.......Repubs/Dems all peas in the same pod, Both with agendas......Pander to the people who you think are more likely to keep you in office. There is no such thing as bipartisanship on either side of the table. Repubs bow to corporate offices Dems bow to special interest groups. Remember that a true compromise is where neither party walks away happy. I have watched as both have acted very childish and anyone who says that their party is perfect and has not acted that way is a bold face liar or delusional. Its the voters Repub/Lib/Ind that need to find common ground and demand from our politicians to do the same. Instead we get on forums and call each other Facist/Lazy/Idiots on and on and on......It only further devides the people.

    July 28, 2011 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  6. noteabags

    "Hurt some people". Is that the same as "lock and load"? Nice.

    July 28, 2011 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  7. WD

    This is news? Folks, get a life. A real life. Be concerned with something more important than a movie clip.

    July 28, 2011 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  8. rdg18

    I can think of much worse when describing demorats.

    July 28, 2011 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  9. Robert

    Hey, it's nice that you at least gave the republican side of the story 2 sentences (count em) in your one sided bash on something so trivial. Oh wait, I guess that 2 sentences you DID give did nothing to counter the blatant democratic inferences that (and I paraphrase) "Maybe the evil republicans meant to try to incite repub unity to hurt the American people!" This article is so typical of one sided spin to make another side look bad that it's ridiculous. "We the people" need to stand up not only to BOTH of our crappy governing parties, but also to a media that seems to have forgotten that it's their job to report the facts equally without showing such ridiculous bias – are there ANY meida outlets out there that "We the people" can turn to that will actually offer useful information that we can use to form our own opinions about what's best for us and our country? Hell, I'd pay to receive that information than the one sided political slop that we're fed daily.

    July 28, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  10. Kristi

    Nothing more than an excuse to be offended. Grow up and do your jobs Dems.

    July 28, 2011 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  11. John

    Why don't they Quit Trying To take everything from the Middle Class and they Poor and put the blame were It really should be and the are leader In the House and the senate. they are the One that got us In this mess In the First Place. And Michele Bachmann Telling that the dept ceiling does need to be Rise ,than ask her why she voted for it to be rise two or three time when President Bush was President. The Republican and the Tea Party are just out to get President Obama ,because they can't get by his Color of his skin. I use to like to watch Ben Affleck movie ,but i will never watch another one.

    July 28, 2011 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  12. Brian DC

    I just spit up my breakfast looking at the hideuosly deformed face of Wasserman. She is a nut job and a moron.

    July 28, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  13. Vince

    I love the RNC presswoman told Dems to focus on pushing "their" president. Like it or not Ms. Repulican Talking Head, he's "OUR" president, not "their" present. Until Rick Perry gets his state to leave the union, there is no "their" in this equation.

    July 28, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  14. Andrew

    A very poorly timed and insensitive, polarizing move by GOP. Fail.

    July 28, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  15. Dave

    Anybody who still calls themselves a Republican now that that party's become a crazy theocratic cult can be safely dismissed as a fool. They're trying to wreck the country just to get back in power. I'll never vote for a Republican again.

    July 28, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  16. jean2009

    We must admit, the GOP is no longer Republican, they are ruled by a group of corporate owned mentally insane teaparty people who want to destroy America...proof in point, is their mouthpiece: Glenn Beck, who claims the victims of the Norway massacre are the Nazis, not the demented Nazi loony that killed them. Shades of Hitler claiming the aggressor as the victim.

    July 28, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  17. Big Al

    Well, can you blame the Republicans. Look what is happening to our country. Massive spending, 2 wars, new entitlement programs, massive give aways to illegals and poor people. We must have the Republicans controlling Congress and the White House. When George W. was president and the Congress was Republicans, we had good times. We need them back running our country. That is why I encourage all people to support Perry-Bachman in 2012.

    July 28, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  18. Uneducated

    So they showed a movie clip of "The Town".... WHO CARES! I thought this was going to be an interesting article... I was wrong...

    July 28, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  19. Johnny

    I think it is awesome they used that video. They should use some of the Saw movies too.

    On a related note, it would be nice if the Democrats focused on compromising on the debt crisis rather than on movies. Then perhaps we would get somewhere.

    July 28, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  20. Cliff Vegas

    Clyburn said the clip was used "as a metaphor for us maintaining our own faith in the process."
    No sir. You lie.

    July 28, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  21. Thomas

    Just exposes the republicans for the thugs they are.

    July 28, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  22. Reality Check

    "Don't we elect these people because they're supposed to be above this kind of behavior?"

    Actually, no. Many of the freshman members of the House promised this and they are dead set to deliver even if it destroys the US economy. Naive campaign promises and pledges to the constitution of Grover Norquist are far more important that actually representing the people and upholding the real Constitution.

    July 28, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  23. Jack

    I understand the need for the GOP to show this to it's colleagues. They aren't very bright and, in order to reach them, you need to show a movie of how life really is. Actually, they should have shown the Silence of the Lambs. The Tea-Party is like Hannibal Lechter helping the FBI agent Clarise (the hated federal gov't) kill a serial killer (the GOP). Thank God we have the FBI to protect us from the sickos in the Tea Party and GOP who want to eat us for breakfast.

    July 28, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  24. TheyForget NeedyAmericans

    Let's face it people, the Republicans ONLY plan is to balance the debt ceiling on the backs of those who need it the most, the elderly, the poor, the sick who survive by virtue of their Social Security checks and Medicare each and every month. They have worked hard for these *entitlement* programs and richly deserve them! When a person works thirty to forty years or more and puts money into Social Security, they are *entitled* to receive a monthly check in return when in their golden years, just like when you put money in a bank and save, you are entitled to get your money back. No ands, ifs and buts about it! It is a great shame that Republicans want to continue giving tax breaks to the richest in their flock while middle class Americans and the elderly have to bear the brunt of their heart-less shenanigans. There is absolutely NO REASON for anyone who is not independently wealthy today to ever vote Republican again! No reason whatsoever. It's the Democrats who will ultimately help those who need it the most and will truly act to help needy Americans as God would expect them to do. The Republicans would just as soon throw the elderly, sick, and poor under the bus and forget about them whilst planning devious tax cuts for the wealthiest of Americans. See them for what they *do*, not for what they say!

    July 28, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  25. Julia

    Oh brother. Next the Dems will go after the GOP about corporate donations...all while overlooking their own allegiance to big business. Can we all just agree that neither party gives a spit about small businesses while they quibble back and forth about nothing important? Seriously, Ms. W-S? THIS is your big gripe today?

    July 28, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
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