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. MikeB

    Hey Mike, Ted Kennedy had a car accident and, unfortunately, someone died. Get over it. Laura Bush also had a fatal car accident when she ran a stop sign. Accident happen.

    July 27, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  2. Don

    What's unbelievable is that you people are going rabid over this. Get a grip.

    July 27, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. Ryan

    "A house divided against itself cannot stand.", the famous quote by former President Abraham Lincoln. It is funny, that the United States government is and has been divided nearly forever. I also find it amusing that one must prescribe to be Republican or Democrat rather being a person with their own ideas and beliefs they pick a party and prescribe to all of their beliefs and follow the crowd. Maybe if we had Congressmen who voted for what they thought was right and believed in rather than what their party believes in the country would be better off and Congress would actually get things done.

    July 27, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. Mike

    No surprise. It's fear mongering, just like Palin's accusation ofObama's tactics....only the party of "Do as we say, not as we do" is using it. How hypocrital of Palin. She suffers from "Foot in Mouth" disease.

    July 27, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. lisaspups

    Hoggee, you are so misinformed. First of all, what are you basing your comment on that the rich are paying the taxes for the middle class and poor? You must be an avid watcher of Faux News. Second, not all poor people do not pay taxes, there are those that do; those that do not, do not have anything to pay. Third, the income of the rich has increased in a much greater percentage while those of the middle class have stagnated. We also do not have tax loopholes and incentives to write off either.

    Finally, with regard to your comments about the debt ceilinig, it is not about being able to spend more money but to pay the bills we actually have. Of course, the Republicans just want to give their rich cronies a break while, again, the middle class and the poor get the shaft, ergo their mantra, "the American people do not want increased taxes." Yes, we do, but on the ultra rich, not those of us that are already living paycheck to paycheck. Yes, we want to close the tax loopholes for corporations and the ultra rich, but they do not want to do that. Yes, the democrats are being unyielding, too, but at least it is on behalf of those already suffering.

    July 27, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. avengeme86

    More like GroundHog Day!!!Lets hope it all comes to a happy ending or we're all screwed!!!

    July 27, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. Jim in PA

    A more appropriate clip to reflect the GOP's lack of realism would have been John Belushi's pep talk at the end of Animal House.

    July 27, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. jim

    With the current leadership of the dem party "Bambi" would be an appropriate movie for them.

    July 27, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  9. Jim Frost

    With this kind of publicity maybe people will actually go see a Ben Affleck movie and it could maybe make some money.

    July 27, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. Rick W

    God Bless theRepublican Party !

    July 27, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. buckup

    mein kampf is more their style and closer to their heart.

    July 27, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  12. CNN The Master's of Spin

    Oh BooHooBoohoooooo.....Liberal Dems whine and moan when it fits what they deem as their benefit. I have a suggestion for all you Liberal Left Wing, Takers......Shut Up!

    July 27, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. Smith

    I am rich, I am rich, I don't have to worry about you little people!

    July 27, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. dem rhetoric is ridiculous

    OK, I am a Conservative but dislike this choice. It's not the first less than perfect moment for the Repbulicans but the Dems have had quite a few themselves! I cannot stand the vehement, vitriol-filled attacks on fellow Americans who happen to believe in a different fiscal folks who keep fanning the flame that we who feel this way are racists homophobes need a reality check. We are Americans who love our country. I don't think you are America haters if you choose to support Dem policies and I deserve the same respect from you.

    July 27, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. Brian

    Affleck is pretty liberal, so I'm sure he'll have a comment coming shortly.

    July 27, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. peter

    You could easily create a mountain of evidence that supports how republicans are disgusting, hateful, selfish, evil creatures who crawled out of the bowels of Hell, but it would do little to dissuade voters from, for some bizarre reason, keep re-electing them. I'm not a big fan of Democrats, either, but the choice seems to be between people who are compassionate towards their neighbors who would suffer immediately if all they want to do is cuts, and those who are compassionate and find it hard to do that. Btw, anyone have mortgage or rent payments or credit card payments out there? All that is about to go way up when we default. All they need to do is do what they did 19 times during Bush: raise the debt ceiling. And THEN let's talk about the debt which was created under Republicans (look up the records).

    July 27, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. Robert

    Reading these comments makes me think there's no hope for this country. It's no wonder politicians are unwilling to compromise. Most people are positively foaming at the mouth. Personally I blame democracy. It allows 51% of the population to cram its agenda down the throat of the other 49%. This country is so close to evenly divided ideologically that half (or more) of the population is always going to find itself force-fed the agenda it despises most. This is why the founders gave so much power to the states and so little to the federal government: so the states could tailor their policies to the desires of their constituents. California wouldn't have to live by the policies that Alabamans prefer to live by, and vice versa. But as long as we insist on a federal, one-size-fits-all plan of governance, the problems we're seeing now will only get worse. It's probably already too late.

    July 27, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. Joshua Ludd

    Yes, and its normal working people of America that the GOP is looking to hurt. After all, they talk about us now as parasites if we want something as simple as living wages and a healthy middle class when we work full time jobs.

    July 27, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  19. gt

    boy debbie you need to put on some make up...gag me

    July 27, 2011 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  20. trashcup

    Kirsten Kukowski, press secretary for the Republican National Committee. What a classic stick your head up your a$# republican. WAKE UP. The middle class isn't that stupid. When 8/2 comes and we default because tea bag republicans are watching movies instead of getting off their butts and doing something, guess who will NOT be in congress after 2012? YOU.

    July 27, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  21. keeth in cali

    The GOP really are a bunch of shallow-minded people. Palin was just complaining of fear-mongering. What the heck is this?!? Fear-mongering and stooping to the lowest level. They can't get their point across in their own words, so they have to use a clip from a movie? I should be surprised coming from the party of No - no ideas, no responsibility, no accountability, no basis in reality.

    July 27, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  22. Angie

    What do you expect from the party that is in bed with the NRA and that plays the Beatles song "Happiness is a Warm Gun" 24/7?

    July 27, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    And apparently Rep. Allen West of Florida said that he'd drive the car ... the Republicans are beyond the pale, what with their foolishness. They are ruining our country, plain and simple. All of their ideas are PROVEN FAILURES, and yet voters continue to get duped into voting for them and against their own self-interest.

    July 27, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. dem rhetoric is ridiculous

    to lisaspups ====yes we have to pay the debts we already have. Why do you think we have so many bills? Could it be there is some wasteful spending? Why not cut cap and balance? It's a good idea! Gee, imagine that...the govt trying to live within its means!

    July 27, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. Limbaugh is a liberal

    I thought republicans claimed to live in reality and hated Hollywood, all the fairy tale Hollywood movies and all the pompous Hollywood stars.
    I guess it was my mistake.

    July 27, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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