GOP use of Ben Affleck movie clip riles Dems
July 27th, 2011
02:44 PM ET
10 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. Janet

    What I find humorous is that she actually stated, the republicans need to have better behavior! THEY ALL NEED TO HAVE BETTER BEHAVIOR! They are acting like 5 years old who truly don't care about the American people. If they all cared, we would not be having this issue. We would not have a president who has not set a budget for three years! We would not have a congress who spends taxpayers money to benefit themselves flying here, there, and everywhere on our money! I agree that YOU ALL NEED TO BEHAVE!

    July 28, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  2. Popcorn anyone

    Why is it when a woman speak out (Dem)....she is unly don't know anything or its the time of the month. But you have the Palins.....crazy B speaking out and it ok. She has a point however we (some) knows that the REP are DEVILS and dont care about anything. What goes around comes around and the REP will get theirs when it is time to VOTE.

    July 28, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  3. Cambone

    For heaven's sake – we have an economy that is falling apart – we may face a default and the Democrats are worried about a movie clip – get a life. Both parties should be working like mad to get to a compromise, not criticize one another.

    July 28, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  4. Reality Check

    "Wow, that this so called congress woman [sic] takes time out to chastise her opponents for their choice of motivational video is abou the stupidest thing I've heard for weeks"

    You do not read your own comments, apparently. Why do you say "so called congress woman"? Is she not a member of the House? Not a woman? Do you prefer "actual" Congressmen like Rep. Cantor who instead of doing his job to resolve the debt ceiling crisis walked out on talks like a three year old. Don't get me started on Reps. Grave and Bachmann.

    July 28, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  5. MiketheElectrician

    First was the accidental release of the powerpoint slide show how to win the American voter, by instilling fear. Now the GOP advocates violence. Why wouldn't they inspire thier caucus by Mr. Smith goes to Washington, or The Longest Day, or The bridge over the river kwai. (where they could have said, every man on those landing boats didn't care about the political stripe of the guy next to them, they were all in the same situation, and it took a collective effort to overcome Omaha beach and the terror of building that bridge. But no, the GOP had to inspire their members with, we gonna go gangster on people.

    July 28, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  6. Albert

    Leave it to the Republicans to use a Movie Clip about robbing people of their hard earned money, because that is EXACTLY what they do to the working class EVERY DAY of the year.

    July 28, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. Daws

    I guess when facts don't work, turn to works of fiction...

    July 28, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  8. JustinConvo

    “DNC is focused on the wrong issue.” What a joke!! The scene was one of the most violent scenes in the movie!! This is what the Repugs what to do to the DEMS?? Brake in their house beat them with folding batons and shoot the DEMS twice in the leg?? And the guy that showed the clip is to be this Holly roller for the church?? Maybe I should go back they must be teaching something new other than love thy neighbor.
    clip was used "as a metaphor for us maintaining our own faith in the process."
    Faith?? Process??? Can anyone explain this to me???

    July 28, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  9. Anonymous

    So the Official Mouthpiece of the DNC psouting Democratic propoganda is featured here on the official liberal media outlet of the Democratic party, Big suprise. Why not be honest and Change you name to LNN and use the Democratic party logo on you banner. Pathetic, but predictable.

    July 28, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. Vet

    So the Official Mouthpiece of the DNC psouting Democratic propoganda is featured here on the official liberal media outlet of the Democratic party, Big suprise. Why not be honest and Change you name to LNN and use the Democratic party logo on you banner. Pathetic, but predictable.

    July 28, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. Jesseca5

    It would seem the truth hurts....why else would the DNC be upset?

    July 28, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. Lazy congressman

    I wish I could watch movie clips at work to get fired up about my job!

    July 28, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. Popcorn anyone

    David Goren
    You must be on their payroll. Come on the REP are not trying to do anything their goals is to make the President a one term
    President on the backs of the miidle class and poor. Their main objective is to destroy the BIG 3. You need to open up your eyes and see what is really going on On the Hill. This is a shame..........we are sick of it.......dont think we are going to forget this because the REP will always give us a friendly reminder........

    July 28, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. Rsprings

    My understanding is the Repubs used only the part where Affleck asks Renner the question not the violent scene that followed
    If true it is another example of DEMS pulling this out of context. Wasserman-shultz need to do something productive.

    July 28, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  15. Smart Potato

    The GOP keeps shooting itself in the foot by exhibiting its inability to negotiate, riding on a wave of destructible narcissism, and exhibiting brute, non-intellectual force (Palin is a prime example), and this latest tactic is just more of the same. They're like uneducated Neanderthals who throw books at people's heads because they can't understand the words. Even the women are guilty: they cannot accept gay marriage, that rape happens, and put their opponents "in the cross hairs (Palin),while all the time touting "Christian values" as a staple of their platforms.

    WHEN will America stop voting for these small-minded, less educated, hypocrites?

    July 28, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  16. doug

    Shultz is just another Snooki type of Democrat. Notice that beings that are pure selfishness and ignorance aka a Snooki are only able to survive in their blue Democrat habitat.

    WHen it comes to Democrat movies, they are about shooting Republicans and causing harm to anyone and everyone not marching lock step their hateful National Socialist ideology, we all Remember the Democrat movie about killed President Bush, and the millions of Democrat who have made death threats against anyone is right of center.

    July 28, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. The Shepard

    I think maybe this country should be divided. One side should be the bleeding heart atheist liberals who's only goal is to take the middle classes money and give it to the poor and illegals and the other side should be the republicans who give the rich oil companies and big corporations all that they ask for in the name of money. I wonder who would fair off better. This country is turning into a real big joke. Can somebody please step up and REPRESENT THE MIDDLE CLASS and please be REAL!!!!

    July 28, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  18. Kurt

    The Dems are worried about what movies the Repubs are watching? They all need to be fired - Dems, Republicans, Independents . Ultimately the entire Baby Boomer population is to blame for what has happened to our country. You can go back to the 60's and 70's and see the 'change' these clowns have brought to our country. They are still trying to ruin the USA and are so spoiled and ingorant they don't even realize they are doing it. A select few have an agenda, the rest are sheep.

    July 28, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. kitty cat

    Well, this sure puts the icing on the cake, doesn't it?
    Imagine congressio­nal leaders who cannot themselves inspire their ranks and must resort to a crime film to get these clowns off their, uh, sitting anatomy, and into action...t­o execute a crime against our country no less...and they have folks volunteeri­ng to drive the get-away car.

    I am so sick and disgusted with the tea stained Republican­s I shudder every time I hear or see the word 'right' which has been corrupted by them to mean everything that is wrong.

    July 28, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. Brady

    I think we have more important things to discuss than Republicans' taste in film.

    July 28, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. valwayne

    Obama and the Democrats....and their DNC Chairman have nothing better to do than whine about a movie clip shown in a close door meeting? Reallly. Obama and the Democrats were in complete control of our Government for 2 years, until 6 months ago. Their policies have given us 9.2% UNEMPLOYMENT, Record Long Term UNEMPLOYMENT, a 28 year high in the misery index, a record number of people on foodstamps, and a failing economy. Yet they have nothing better to do than whine about the private showing of a movie clip for a movie showing across the nation that tens of millions of people are watching? Really? Really? This is really what Obama wants his DNC Chair doing?

    July 28, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  22. Lunor Harrison

    Kirsten Kukowski sums up the fact the republican national committee does not have the public's best interest when she says that Debbie Wasserman Schultz should push her president......I'm sorry but he is our president and just because you are republican doesn't mean he is not your president...What happened to a country united?

    July 28, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. Coolerheads

    Calling Republicans racist and hateful speech serves only your emotions. The truth is that the Democratic Party was soul party fighting for slavery in the Civil War and they still enslave the people through Entitlement Programs. I believe in helping those that need help. But where is the line? Taxpayer funded “research” on the penis size of a gay man? To study on the reproduction mating rituals of the Japanese Pigeon? Big Government is out of control on both sides of the isle!!! They all need 8 yr term limits. And paid minimum wage for their service or military E1 pay no more!

    July 28, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  24. Virginia Ham

    Good paraphrasing Godfather!

    Samuel Johnson made the famous statement, "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel."

    Unfortunately I think we are living to see the fall of our "republic"... but then it the Rubicon was crossed over 10 years ago.

    July 28, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. FactsAs They Stand

    DOWN with the Republicans in 2012! DOWN with them! Since they are incapable of doing the right thing for America yet they foolishly expect people should vote for them, ALL should be very wary of their plans to put the scr-ews to you. No One should vote Republican ever again unless they have money coming out their ears. Most people in America do not therefore, need the Democrats in Congress and at the White House to secure programs people have paid for through their tax dollars and now have a right to collect in their time of need. Republicans Forget the Eldery, the Poor, the Middle Working Class, and the Sick. Democrats work Hard to help those Americans who fall into these categories without giving big tax breaks to the richest in this country who do not need such entitlements and who can well afford to pay their own way. Democrats should be rightfully Supported in 2012! The Republicans ask for your vote with one hand but would stab you in the back with the other by not helping you in your time of greatest need. Remember that!

    And Hispanics, Republicans Are Not Your Friends! They never have been and they never will be! Know and understand that once and for all and quit voting Republican because each time you do, you are helping to marginalize yourselves more and more as they fully Expect should be done to you! Look at the profiling laws THEY have enacted in Arizona and other states where Republicans have control! Look at their failure to support the Dream Act. Look at their development and push for English-Speaking Only in America, despite its broad diversity of ethnicities. And look at their setting up gerrymandering roadblocks for American-born Tax-Paying children of Hispanic descent who want to learn and work in America and are entitled to as Americans! They actually want to rewrite the U.S. Constitution to Write YOU and Your Legal Standing Out! Then look at yourselves and see if you are better off with them in office or with Democrats who will truly help you attain your goals and dreams so that you can be as much as you can be as proud Americans!

    July 28, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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