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. mcp123

    "Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz is a sad example of the Loser Left"

    What are you.. like five years old? Blabbermouth? Seriously.... but I'd like to say that we know republicans hate it when the truth is uncovered about them. Whether its Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin-Talal being the second largest shareholder in Fox news (and terror mosque funder BTW) or the constant lies that Fox news spews daily or say Nixon... or Iran-Contra or anything else they'd like to cover up.

    July 27, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  2. Ron

    Just when you though no one could ruin the republican brand more than W and Dick Vader, these yahoos come along. Dirty tricks to squash union rights, voter suppression laws, holding the country's economic future hostage. Is that what the republican party has come to stand for?? I mean, tear the country down because you don't like the man in the White House. Really. Corporate welfare over social security and medicare/medicaid. By golly. Some of these poor old people already survive by eating cat food! Now, you want to take that away from them? And what, let them starve to death? Freeze to death? Or just die because they can't get medical care or prescription drugs? Really? Is that the new republican party?! Think about that for a minute people. Is that a party fit to lead the United States??? I think they called this crap Holocaust during WWII. Is that where the GOP wants to take our country just to get Obama out of the White House? I say "Hell No You Can't!" to the GOP... What say you America?

    July 27, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  3. HawHaw

    I saw this movie. In the scene The two main characters bent the two men close to death all because that had been harrasing one of their girlfriend. The supporting character doenst even know why they are "hurting" them. His friend asked him to help so he went with no other explanation.

    That pretty much sums up the Republican party for me.

    July 27, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  4. Guest

    I'm tired of both parties fighting and whining like a bunch of kids in the school yard. Regardless of what happens in the next weeks, if each person in this country does not go to the polls and elect someone for their district or state other than the incumbant, then everone deserves whatever we get from Washington in situations like this. Fire every incumbant politician. The new guys will get the message loud and clear. If they don't, fire them the next chance you get. You want change in this counrty? Then make change and quit talking about it! Career politicians, Democratic or Republican, are the problem we have.

    July 27, 2011 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  5. Joan

    Isn't showing a vulgar, crude movie clip a pretty violent way to try to unify your party? I guess since Matt Damon seems to have gone over to their side they think they can use his good friend Ben Afleck too. The said thing is that the whole debt ceiling issue should have been done with one clean vote. It has not ever been used as a hostage issue before this and the Republicans are going to have a lot to answer for during the next 18 months. They are using this as a way to try and force their agenda on the country, regardless of the repercussions. Already, the US 's reputation has been tarnished around the world, American democracy is a sham and it looks like a non-elected lobbyist Norquist and the new congressmen are controlling the party. Why would the majority of Americans want such a party to lead their great nation? I think Sen. Reid should add $500-$800 billion in revenue such as cutting loopholes, ending oil subsidies etc. to his plan and pass it in the Senate. Then see what the republicans do when they get it. The ball will be in their court. This whole thing is ridiculous and the media is obviously loving every minute of it.

    July 27, 2011 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  6. unretired05

    It was just a metaphor like Palins "surveyors" cross-hairs Loughners should never have assumed it meant violence. Just like this clip of bludgeoning two men is just a metaphor for hurting someone, the citizens of the US.

    July 27, 2011 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  7. Kent Bowen

    Outrageous, simply outrageous...but consistent with the rape and pillage GOP mentality...

    July 27, 2011 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  8. Zee

    Yeah, the Dems do not want violence. They want America to be the big herd of Sheeple they have been grooming. Baaaa where's my welfare check? I need to make more babies so I's can get a bigger check! No 'entitlement' cuts! I'm entitled to my scooter!!!
    Folks, your are entitled to what is in the Constitution. And no were does it say the Government's job is to support you. People who succeed in life WORK for it. If you think any politicial in Washington is doing anything more than pandering to you to get votes, you are sorely mistaken. Cut the pay of politicians, create term limits, and cut the strings on their so-called 'Golden Parachute'. Nothing they do is worth us paying for their free plane trips, exorbitant paychecks and free healthcare. I'm sick of paying for WAY too much Government, welfare, medicaid, and all the other and other handouts that a lot of people are getting but do not deserve. These were created to HELP people back on their feet, not become a lifestyle!
    If we tax the rich, who do you REALLY think pays for it? The middle class. Tax Bill Gates(for example), and Microsoft stuff goes higher price to offset his loss. Wake up America!

    July 27, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  9. Charlie from the North

    Hey don't get mad get even. Show them the clip of George Baily's meeting with Mr. potter in "It's a wonderful life" The one where Mr. Potter tries to get George Baily, the good Democrat, to turn his back on his friends and become a Republican. Well long story short George Baily, played by Jimmy Stewart tells old man Potter, Lionel Barrymore, to stuff it.

    That would be better than complaining plus it really is fair because I think in "real life Jimmy Stewart was a Rupublican, just as Ben Afleck is a Democrat. Of course in Stewarts time the Republicans were stiil sane and not mixed up with the Tea Party (the reaal villains here)

    July 27, 2011 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  10. Confused

    Why is this a big deal? Is this what consumes politicians nowadays?

    Where was this outrage when "Death Of A President" was released? You can make a movie about assassinating a sitting President, but God forbid you criticize one.

    July 27, 2011 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  11. saywhaat

    Republicans are so hilariously stupid. They can't even come up with an original comeback quotes. They have to plagiarized, steal and borrow from Hollywood TV and movies. Can they ever think for themselves. No wonder Americans are going down the drain. They are being lead by this group of power hungry morons

    July 27, 2011 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  12. SB

    Republicans evidently think they can act as immorally and unethically as they want during a crisis because when someone complains they can claim that person is not focusing on the right issues. What is it about simple minded Republicans that they think we can't both deal with the debt problem AND enforce high social standards? Oh wait.. I think I just answered my own question (ie. simple minded).

    July 27, 2011 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  13. marty

    No one should be surprised at the Republican party's antics. Remember, this is the pretentious fiscally conservative, cap, cut and balance group who previously spent fifty million dollars orchestrating a sleaszy sex patrol to take down another president.

    July 28, 2011 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  14. Erik

    Clips of a violent movie at their rally? That's so offensive, I think they we should penalize them by insisting on increasing our national debt to 20,000 billion dollars. I think they should have watched Schindler's List, and solemnly declared that that little red $100 dollar bill at the bottom of a huge pile of black and white bills was pulled out of the pocket of some loser taxpayer who could have used it to, I don't know, feed her family, or buy something she needed, rather than pump it into a rathole.

    July 28, 2011 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  15. DixonIV

    The use of that scene is what we expect from the Republicans...when you have no good ideas you demonize your opposition. The far right and left wings are in a war to decide what is best for OUR country. Not the Tea Party, not the Progressives it is our country. I wonder if anyone has thought how pulling all that spending out of our budget will affect business. Every dime of it goes to business' who in the end jack the price our government pays for the product they sell us. Also, close down all those military bases around the country that are not needed and put that money toward helping the soldiers and their families. Require the countries who run over seas for cheap labor then sell their product in that country. Not going to happen because the business' who do that zap that countrie's economy more. I have seen a lot of greed in my time, but never in my life have I seen it as bad as now.

    July 28, 2011 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  16. 66Biker

    Oh, please... Get back to work, Congress. You ain't got time to whine about movies.

    July 28, 2011 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  17. NobodySpecial

    Oh, you Cons and your violent ways . . . . Typical.

    July 28, 2011 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  18. Rick

    Wow, that this so called congress woman takes time out to chastise her opponents for their choice of motivational video is abou the stupidest thing I've heard for weeks, and there have been many stupid things going on in the congress for sure. Sounds like she will support the junk food tax too. Florida, please wake up and put someone in place who will ge tthe job done without promoting her personal agenda ahead of the countries needs.

    July 28, 2011 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  19. huxley

    Its very disappointing that the Republicans are using violent movie clips to illustrate their political points, in the wake of the Norway massacre. It's way past time we tone down the violent rhetoric and focus on finding a peaceful middleground. Violence and bloodshed has no place in the US political discourse.

    July 28, 2011 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  20. Johnny

    We have to do this sorta thang because you Dems are always so liberal and stuff.

    July 28, 2011 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  21. borisjimbo

    Copyright infringement suit.

    July 28, 2011 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  22. jesse

    And yet both sides talk like the other is the sole problem in this issue. They're both useless. Don't we elect these people because they're supposed to be above this kind of behavior?

    July 28, 2011 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  23. We Will Fight On

    Just like the Dems, pretty much the truth

    July 28, 2011 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  24. ThinkB4UAct

    Politics – the art or science of government or in our present dilemma the Art of Manipulation. The Republicans are taking full advantage of Prejudice and Ignorance in our country, sadly there's plenty to go around. The UNeducated will always be easily manipulated. To all my fellow Decent Americans please Stand UP, call your state representatives. Demand an end to this foolishness with a Balanced approach to end this deficit dilemma.

    July 28, 2011 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  25. GaryB

    Replace the guy being beaten up with the U.S. economy (or just an average, non-millionaire American) and you get a good analogy for what the Republican congress is doing to America.

    July 28, 2011 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
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