Clint Eastwood returns, stars in new super PAC ad
October 24th, 2012
08:49 AM ET
10 years ago

Clint Eastwood returns, stars in new super PAC ad

Washington (CNN) - Actor Clint Eastwood is returning to the political stage, but this time he is talking directly to the camera - and not to an empty chair.

Eastwood received much derision as well as praise for his speech at the Republican Convention this summer in Tampa where he lectured to an empty chair that was meant to represent President Obama.

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Now Eastwood is the star of a new ad, called "At Stake" from the Republican super PAC American Crossroads.

For much of the spot Eastwood's voice is just heard telling the audience: "For the last few years America has been knocked down. Twenty three million people can't find full-time work," he says. "Obama's second term would be a rerun of the first, and our country just couldn't survive that. We need someone who can turn it around fast. That man is Mitt Romney."

Then Eastwood is seen talking directly to the camera as it ends saying, "There is not much time left, and the future of our country is at stake."

The commercial was taped at Eastwood's home in California, according to American Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio. While Eastwood's speech was met with a lot of negative press stories, Crossroads officials think his message of how Obama has failed resonated. Crossroads President Steven Law was at the convention and thought Eastwood's words were powerful and that he connected with the crowd, Collegio said. Group officials were introduced to him, and he agreed to tape the ad.

Crossroads thinks this goes beyond a stock celebrity endorsement because, as Collegio put it, "this is Clint adding his iconic weight to a message about the country that already resonates with people and which they already believe in their hearts."

The group showed the ad to focus groups in Florida and Ohio, and "it tested off the charts," Collegio says.

The Eastwood spot is one of three new ones launching Wednesday as part of a $12.6 million buy in seven key swing states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia.

One entitled "Survive" about small business owners will air in Colorado, Iowa, Ohio and Virginia Survive and one called "Bow" which hits Obama's record on China is set to air in Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia.

Mitt Romney is getting substantial air cover this week. With this new buy, American Crossroads will be spending at least $17 million on swing state ads. On Tuesday it went up with a $4.2 million buy just in Wisconsin and Ohio highlighting the story of a young boy battling cancer in the 1970's who Mitt Romney helped. Another super PAC supporting the Republican presidential nominee, Restore Our Future, announced it was going up with almost $18 million in swing state ads on Tuesday in battleground states.

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Filed under: 2012 • Ads • American Crossroads • Mitt Romney
soundoff (313 Responses)
  1. jinx88

    Who cares!!! He is a crappy actor just like the person he is endorsing.

    October 24, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  2. Go, Clint!

    Obama continues to astound with his lies. Here are Obama's own words in 2006, brought to you by the letter "O" and the number "16 Trillion:"

    "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America 's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America 's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, "the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."
    ~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006

    October 24, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I am not sure that I would believe Eastwood. He doesn't seem to understand or note the problems that Obama had at the start and how big they were.

    October 24, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  4. Critical Thinking

    I want to thank the Dems and the President for mocking Clint Eastwood, it appears that you have pissed him off. You made the Republicans day, nice job !

    October 24, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. Brian

    I love how the GOP feels the need to continue to pump up enthusiasm for Mitt Romney. Clint Eastwood isn't going to sway the independent voters in swing states. If it were that simple, they would have done this months ago. This ad is to assure their base turns out to vote. Because the past few weeks, Romney lost two debates and all momentum. In typical GOP fashion, let's just throw money at the problem and see if it goes away.

    October 24, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. SokrMom

    Chairs everywhere are trembling...

    October 24, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. truth hurts

    S.B. Stein E.B. NJ - I am not sure that I would believe Eastwood. He doesn't seem to understand or note the problems that Obama had at the start and how big they were
    Obviously bigger than Obama because he hasn't been able to solve any of them in 4 years. Time for somebody in the Whitehouse that knows what they are doing. Romney/Ryan.

    October 24, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. bob

    Clint, the Dude upstaged you in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot and I am sorry to say that you are out of your league again.

    October 24, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. L.W. Man

    There is not one "real" thing about Obama. From his past, where he was born, his school records, his promoted belief system for 20 years (Wright's God Damn America!), and his conduct in other nations is only about great he is and how bad America is. He's never held a real job and doesn't do the one he has now!!

    I do not want this man representing me!

    October 24, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. L.W. Man

    And boy, does GO, CLINT have it right – quoting the annointed one's own words!

    October 24, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. karek40

    I looked where the ads were being shown, I am surprised they do not have a negative add about Obama/Israel and Obama's treatment of the Israelis president to be shown in Florida and N.Y. or a positive add about Romney and Israel.

    October 24, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. Taskmaster

    If Obama had half of the integrity, honesty and brains of Eastwood this country would be in a lot better shape.But he doesn't.

    October 24, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. BluePoo

    Anyone who tries to paint Obama as a failure deserves no attention at all - they have no relevant opinion, and are only repeating baseless propaganda. Obama has, by-and-large, succeeded in nearly every endeavor: millions of previously uninsured are now covered; millions of people have been put back to work; millions of jobs have been saved from both offshoring and downsizing initiatives; one war has been terminated, and another is winding down. America is finally starting to get back on its feet after a one-two knockout by the GOP, while people like Eastwood and his bank-rollers try to pretend not only that she's bleeding out on the mat, but that they were somehow not responsible for it.

    We're doing a heckuvalot better now than we were four years ago, no thanks to you and your ilk, Mr. Eastwood. We're finally starting to gain some ground despite a wholly unified party of "no", whose primary stated goal is to block a second term for Obama. Despite nearly half the country screaming obscenities and throwing a tantrum, we've managed to drag this country, slowly but surely, an inch at a time, into the modern era. You're a fool to say that this president is "a failure," and your opinion should be treated with the disdain one treats a fool's opinion.

    If you think Obama could have done better, fine... that's your prerogative. I happen to agree: he should have been more forceful while he had a majority in both houses. Hindsight is 20/20, though, and there was no precedent for the kind of opposition he would face to even routine legislation after the mid-term elections. He tried to play nice, and got a few hard knocks for his trouble... I find it intolerable that he still refuses to play dirty, despite GOP claims that he does just that. He could be a much more effective leader by destroying a few careers on Capitol Hill; I would. That may make him somewhat naive in the grand scheme of things, but it's not indicative of "failure" on either a personal or policy level.

    Of course, I suppose it's possible that Mr. Eastwood is still talking about his pretend Obama, so there's that.

    October 24, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. Luke Brown

    Hmm ... Multimillionaire Empty Suit endorsed by multimillionaire Hollywood Geezer. Wow! That will make me vote Republican for sure.

    America to Clint: Stick to making pictures.

    October 24, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. Thomas

    Parents of children with special needs are demanding an apology from conservative political pundit Ann Coulter for tweeting after Tuesday's foreign policy debate that she approved of "Romney's decision to be kind and gentle to the retard."

    Didn't Ann Coulter and Clint Eastwood go out together in the 90s ?

    October 24, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. rs

    More credibility for the truth-challeneged Romney/Ryan campaign. it's the return of the CHAIRWHISPERER!

    October 24, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. joe

    the only people this will influence are the repo idiots that love the blood and guts shoot em ups eastwood produces. These are the same clowns that think wrestling is real and watch indy all sunday. Big deal. Mitt the twitt is a lier and so is his buddy lyin ryan. God help the US if thes two are elected. The world is laughing at these two clowns.

    October 24, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. Laurie in Spokane

    Oh Plueeeease. Just because he's a well known actor doesn't give Eastwood any more validity as a Republican or endorser than any other right-wing reactioinary. Anyone who believes it does obviously cannot think for themselves, like most of the republican party.

    October 24, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. derp

    Sorry Clint, you "jumped the shark" with that idiot empty chair routine.

    You have made yourself irrelevant.

    October 24, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. Hypocrites

    So it's not okay for Clint Eastwood to voice his opinion and support a Republican but it is okay for the liberal, out-of-touch Hollywood "celebs|" to support the Democrats?

    October 24, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  21. KarenFaye

    s.b. sTEIN /E.B. NJ: Seriously????????? You don't seem to understand the problems he's created in his term – or like the other drooling liberals, you choose to turn your head rather than admit a failed experiment. No more Sock Monkeys in the White House!

    October 24, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  22. davec.0121

    Clint Eastwood is a talented director and actor. But that doesn't mean that he has any special knowledge or insight that we mere mortals don't have. When it comes to movies, he can speak authoritatively. However, when it comes to other matters, like politics and the state of the nation, he's just another grumpy old man (like me). So, why should I, or anyone else, place any special credence on what he says? Remember, "legend" aside, Clint Eastwood never stormed the hill, never smacked down the bad guys, never rescued the damsel in distress, and never cleaned up the town. It was all make-believe, in the movies.

    October 24, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  23. ThinkAgain: The GOPs policies are all PROVEN FAILURES

    So the GOP's going with a man who has seven children by five different women, although he has only married twice. If the Democrats trotted out a celebrity with Clint's bio, they'd roast him.

    October 24, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  24. intexas

    Clint Eastwood is depthly full of knowledge, he speaks with wisdom and conviction. Young generations should look, listen, be attentive and look both sides of the story, then make the judgement regardless of the party affiliation.

    October 24, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  25. ThinkAgain: The GOPs policies are all PROVEN FAILURES

    @Go, Clint!: You and Clint and all the other GOP dweebs didn't have a problem with GW Bush putting two wars and Medicare Part D on the nation's credit card, did you? And all of a sudden you care about deficits!

    You're nothing but a bunch of chicken-hawk hypocrites who have no problem taking our country down the toilet for the sake of lining the pockets of military contractors and all the others who see our nation as just one big asset to suck dry.

    Well, you can go suck something else, buddy!

    October 24, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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