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. Randy, San Francisco

    Clint's political ad will be a bust like his last movie.

    October 24, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. dusean17

    Eastwood is not the answer for the Romney ticket.

    October 24, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. rs


    I doubt this has occurred to you- but your household budget is a bit simpler (probably by a factor of a few million) than the budget system of the government.

    Here goes: The Republicans crippled our government by cutting taxes (specifically in a 'redistribution" for the rich- but it really hardly matters), then when they were kicked out of offcie (for the failures they were at running the country), they agreed amongst themselves- lead by McConnell of the Senate and Boehner of the House TO NOT WORK with the President and their Democratic colleagues to fix the mess THEY made.

    The GOP solution as put forth by Romney and Ryan- simple: Go back to the Bush days, cut taxes (and hence government revenue) even more, redistribute even more money and property to the rich and all will magically get better.

    Mr. Obama's is to cut spending (which he has already done), cut the deficit (already done by 35%), and increase taxes on the insanely rich (to increase gov't revenues). Cover the gap with less spending, and more income- just as you do.

    Now, if I go back to your analogy of your family budget (and good for you for keeping it in balance, btw), Mr. Romney's solution for your family's budget would not be: spend less, raise your income, rather it: is increase your spending and cut back your hours at work.

    Now then: Which solution works?

    October 24, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. Not this time

    "Hey, if someone is crazy enough to have me speak for them, then they get what they deserve." Clint Eastwood when asked about his comments at the republican convention.
    Funny how on one hand the repubs make fun of Obama because he uses stars to support him, and then on the other hand they hold up an 83 yr old actor as their spokesman now... even if he is speaking about an empty suit.

    October 24, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  5. rs

    truth hurts-

    Truth is the recovery began to end when the Tea trolls turned up. Take your meds.

    October 24, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. ohio

    The skit with the empty chair was a real low from Clint.
    and based on the debates–yes Obama had a bad first debate but has
    more than made up for it with the last two. And really clint–you take Mitt seriously?
    Why? the guy doesn't even know his middle eastern geography. He can't even
    remember what he said two weeks ago-and let's not forgot his own op-ed piece
    in 2008 to the NYT about letting detroit fail and yes he did say let the private sector save it.
    Clint i really do feel kinda bad for you. I mean didn't you direct the movie Invictus?
    I really thought that movie was great–but with this you have things all wrong and i hate to see you
    become the extreme's right wing puppet. what a shame. Will we see you backing Bachmann next?

    October 24, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    If you're going to fall for the lies you're going to fall for the lies whether they are spoken by an Eastwood or a Romney.
    The country was on the brink of a Depression and President Obama did everything he needed to do to keep us from going under while the Republicans, if you'll remember, sat on their hands and blocked for FOUR years anything to help our country.
    That's the truth. You don't need Eastwood to tell you that.
    Obama 2012.

    October 24, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  8. GG

    It's about time someone in Hollywood stood up for what is best for the country vs what is best for themselves.

    October 24, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. christina knight

    Well that makes it official, I am no longer a fan of Clint Eastwood. Clint I have to ask. How can you be so progressive on so many social issues and still support the Republican goons whose policies only benefit the rich, the NRA, and the religious right?

    October 24, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. Mario - OHIO

    Well, Clint can talk to an empty chair the next time around. The chair not occupied by Mitt.

    October 24, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  11. ronjayaz

    Where was Clint when Bush was destroying the economy 8 years before O'Bama (Irish heritage spelling)? I herd recently that Beyonce cancelled any association with Clint. If O'Bama loses there will be a general boycott by blacks of his flics, before and after.

    October 24, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  12. wisewalt

    Do you think Eastwood knows who funds American Crossroads? Karl Rove heads it up.

    October 24, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. Voice

    Romney said he would NOT invest in job creation.
    From debate:
    ROMNEY: Well, first of all, it's not government that makes business successful. It's not government investments that makes businesses grow and hire people.

    October 24, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  14. FactCheck

    We can still recover under a Romney/Ryan ticket!
    That's funny because it is the same sound bite that factories all over China have been peddling over the past month.

    October 24, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. Don

    SOMEBODY STOP HIM before I lose all respect for Eastwood. One of my favorite actors, he was allowed to make a fool of himself at the G0P convention – I don't want to see him sink lower. Eastwood's legacy deserves better than for him to become a fading tool for Billionnaires' political whims. He's better than this.

    October 24, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  16. Lisa P

    Sad to see Clint lose whatever cred he had left by endorsing a shyster conman and doctrinaire stooge for a front group run by a professional liar at the behest of anonymous self-interested billionaires. Even more shameful that he claims that this is somehow supposed to help America. What kind of fool thinks that the "fast" turn around that Romney promises will really turn around anything? Probably the same kind of fool who thinks that 23 million "who can't find full-time work" is anything but a cooked-up number meant only to deceive the stupid and lazy.

    Far from "turning things around" Romney's rich donors are counting on things going the same way they have since Reagan - the rich get richer and the rest of us can just hope some of that trickles down to us. Any poor or formerly middle class person who votes for Romney thinking that he will change the system that made him and his cronies rich (or richer) pretty much deserves whatever he or she gets. Which won't be much beyond a swift kick and an end to programs that Americans used to rely on to get ahead, and once made us great.

    October 24, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. rvastag

    So, is every minute of commercial time on tv going to be political ads over the next two weeks?

    Thank god I don't watch tv.

    October 24, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. sonny chapman

    Does Clint really think that 1-Mitt gives a damn about the plight of the Working Stiff & 2- that Mitt 's Master Plan will make the Middle Class better off?

    October 24, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. gt

    this is a true statement...america cant stand four more yrs of what we just had....disaster....

    October 24, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. Tom B

    No one takes voting advice from "celebrities". If you do, you deserve what you get.

    October 24, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. Wake up People!

    I can't believe I used to be such a huge Eastwood fan. I loved all his earlier movies. The spaghetti westerns and all the Dirty Harry movies were some of my faves, but I can no longer stomach to look at Clint. I would like to say thank you Mr. Eastwood for showing me your true self, I wish more like you would.

    A former fan

    October 24, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. Al-NY,NY

    Ancient Texan

    Go Clint! The far left "stars" have spoken, balance the field

    in the constant carping style of the tightie righties when Obama has Hollywood endorse him.......WHO CARES WHAT A DOPEY ACTOR/ACTRESS THINKS?

    October 24, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  23. TomGI

    Clint must have another movie to promote and needs a little more free PR.

    October 24, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  24. bobby

    All I hear and read in the news is that America is broke, but yet both parties are spending HUGE amounts of money for their candidate. I'm not going to calculate the PAC money and other political donation, but the way I see it that campaign money can/could/should be used to help pay down the cost of bailing America out. I say this because I believe greed is the biggest cause of the resection. Get rid of the special interest groups, PAC and anonymous donor and term limits.

    October 24, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  25. Johnny 5

    No amount of dirty Harry or Django will stem the tide of votes for president Obama this coming November 6. So it is a close race. Right? You just woke up the complacent democrats who were not going to vote because they felt this is going to be a landslide for Obama. Now, we have to pick up the whole family with our vans just to go to the polls on November 6. Thank you for reminding us how important it is to vote for president Obama.

    October 24, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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