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. LakeErie

    Well, the Republicans went out and "hurt some people"!

    July 27, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  2. BeverlyNC

    Have you noticed the Republicans commenting here have no problem with the use of violence but only are making comments about the "looks" of Debbie Wasserman Schultz??? The reason Karl Rove and the Koch brothers can run vile and totally false and disgusting ads – is Republicans have no sense of decency, respect, character, integrity, or honesty. When Republicans gets caught lying or crossing lines of disgusting lies – they turn into children with juvenile responses. They can't spell either. They are the ones who elected these uneducated racist tea baggers who are destroying our country. Maybe they should grow up and vote for actual leaders- Democrats who actually work for the PEOPLE and not the corporations. It amazes me ANYONE is a Republican. Why would anyone vote for a Party who is destroying your life, taking away your rights, your jobs, supporting corporations who send jobs overseas, protect corporate tax loopholes and want to kill the benefits you actually worked for so they can keep subsidizing corporations who need nothing.

    July 27, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  3. ScottKey

    Please notice that the words used below was not "our president," but rather, "her president." This is not accidental. It is a salient attempt to tell all those that voted for President Obama that, "He may be YOUR president, but he certainly isn't OURS."

    "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.

    July 27, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. bill

    I hear the market was down almost 200 points today, unemployment is still over 9% and we haven't had a budget in two years.

    And the DNC is worried about a movie clip.

    July 27, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  5. LacrosseMom(real one)

    Funny isn't it that the TEAPUBLICANS, hate Hollywood but oh boy when it suits them they use Hollywood! Teapublicans do not have much of an imagination, all they can do it spew hate, lies, fear and division.

    Reagan raised the debt ceiling ..... 18 times! When Reagan was president we had Twin Recessions, in '81 & '82....... and in 1983....... the U.S. unemployment rate was 10%! And look what Bush did! Don't be fooled America!

    July 27, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. Malty

    Dems need to focus on getting stuff done. Obama has already blown his chance to lead the nation out of the recession. The least he could have done is worked with the republicans. Instead he and his dem friends are working on an all or nothing deal–much like the joke that became known as Obamacare.

    A liberal made the movie. If it offends, write to Ben.

    July 27, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. Jess Sayin

    The Republicans use of a violent film to rev up their base is not surprising. What is surprising is their timing. I guess they assumed the Nowegian terrorist was a Muslim, and not a like-thinker who holds similar values to them. Now exploiting a violent movie seems like they are encouraging violence against Dems. Is there no level they won't sink to to serve their wealthy masters? Vote out the GOP before they destroy our country!

    July 27, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  8. RayJacksonMS

    Not surprising. Just look at Norway. Conservatives are violent animals that are trained by society just enough to appear non-violent most of the time....until they snap.

    July 27, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  9. Prism11

    Why are people on here going on about both parties not being able to compromise. Are people paying attention...the Republicans are holding this process up because they flat out refuse to make the rich and corporations be taxed, ..Obama and the Democrats have agreed to make some cuts to entitlement programs, which is going to hurt the people who are already hurting, but in the spirit of COMPROMISE, and having everyone participate in taking tough hits they are willing to make some cuts...but what they are not going to do is make vthese tough cuts while the Republicans standfast about not taxing the rich and big corporations, and lets be clear, that is the only ones Democrats are talking about raising taxes on...if you listen to Republicans they will slickly try to make it appear like its some across the board tax hike because they know thats the only way their reluctance doesn't make them look like the rich protecting party that they are. Lay the blame for this impasse where it belongs...if tRepublican would allow taxes on their rich cronies this crisis would have been resolved a long time ago.

    July 27, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  10. John B

    Back to the ole "say anything to get elected". I love politics.

    July 27, 2011 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  11. Newo

    stop watching movies and get to work!!!!! argh!

    July 27, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  12. judith

    I love Ben Affleck and I know that he is quite liberal in his politics. He abhors the Republican thugs. Indeed, they do want "to go hurt somebody"–the middle class, the poor, minorities and everyone who doesn't agree with their insane ideas for the future of the country.

    July 27, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  13. TVGUY

    I'm sure the GOP feels a great kinship with the characters In this movie, Affleck and Renner play bank robbers who dress up as nuns to commit their crimes. Not that different from Republicans: a bunch of criminals hiding behind religion to achieve their agenda.

    July 27, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  14. chris

    I love Ben's comment!

    July 27, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  15. Katie Denver

    "Democrat Class Warfare"- I just have to tell you... Everytime I read your posts on here they get me so revved up and motivated I just feel the need to take action right away!!!! Like donate to Barack Obama's re-election campaign. See ya in 2012

    July 27, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  16. Former Dem

    So the Democratic party, under Wasserman-Schultz, did the EXACT same thing with a Mel Gibson movie, yet when the republicans do it, they cry foul? Hypocrisy at its best!

    July 27, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  17. Shannon

    What a shock more Republicans supporting violence. Batty Bachmann is on right now, she loves violence, she hates gays, and she just signed a pledge supporting slavery. Where do they find these people, and a better question is what kind of person would support them.

    July 27, 2011 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  18. Cynthia

    Their goal, no matter the cost to the American people, is to force the failure of our economy and convince the rank/file Tea Party and Republicans, that it is the fault of the Presidency and not their own behavior. It is obvious, in my opinion, that the ignorant, desparate, self-centered, bigoted thugs, whose platform the majority of Americans abhor, are controlling the GOP. I have mostly voted for Democrats or Independents, but have also supported moderate Republicans, even voting for John McCain before he went through 'the change'. My point...these people are NOT representative of any true Republican, they are more representative of an extreme, far-right belief; before condemning my comment do some reading, and listening, of extreme right beliefs/propaganda from the '30's. It will sound eerily familiar.

    July 27, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  19. CBR

    The Republicans can be counted on for some colorful language and some colorful advertising. Their use of language causes some wincing but the GOP thinks that they can say or do anything because they have certain PACs covering their flanks. Sometimes it is best to tune voices and their advertising out.

    AFter watching them parade a number of Republicans before the microphones I made a determination that Speaker Boehner and Majority Whip Cantor cannot work alone. Certain members must be at their side.

    July 27, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  20. David M

    I didn't realize that either party had time to watch movies. Aren't they supposed to be fixing the debt problem? Man, what a horse and donky show this congress is. I have no respect for any of them right now.

    July 27, 2011 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  21. Seriously? C'mon. SEEEERiously?

    Ok, all of you who have been horrified by this article because The Town is a violent movie, or that Braveheart is a violent movie, are completely missing the more important point. Our politicians are watching movies to get "fired up." Is this a high school football game? Seriously. Maybe they could watch a video of people who have been out of work for two years doing their grocery shopping to get "motivated."

    And every time I read these comment sections – it's constantly SPLIT between Republicans and Democrats. People saying, "Well if Boehner and those Republicans weren't so greedy...." or "If Obama weren't such a socialist...." This is not constructive! Great...continue going for eachothers' throats and blaming problems on the other side. Meanwhile, the issues remain unsolved.

    July 27, 2011 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  22. Richard

    Dimwit, traitor democrats are destroying the country economically, and they worry about a movie clip. Fools.

    July 27, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  23. Really

    Not that I am a Democrat, but the Republicans and Tea Party are just plain disgusting. They use this kind of stuff to incite the extreme right, then offer statements of how America won't stand for violence against politicians and such. I guess hypocrites have the inability to look into the mirror. Their motto must be "What's good for us doesn't necessarily include everyone else.

    July 27, 2011 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  24. Anonymous

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

    Well don't you think Bambi is a better lesson for kids than the Great Depression and maybe WW II (what was it ... sixty million dead)? Thats what the republicans would like to bring about.

    July 27, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  25. VegasRage

    Right as if any of those soft and doughy Republicans could rough someone up. They need to hire strong arms because they are too weak themselves to do it.

    July 27, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
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