Clint Eastwood Defends Polarizing Super Bowl Halftime Ad, Denies He Was a "Minion" of Obama

Iconic (and right-leaning) star slams accusations from his own party that his Chrysler spot was essentially a political ad for the current administration

By Gina Serpe Feb 07, 2012 3:36 PMTags

Clint Eastwood's Chrysler-backed Super Bowl pep talk to the nation was motivating all right—it motivated Washington, D.C., power players straight to opposite sides of the political spectrum.

The iconic movie star is facing some fallout in the wake of his otherwise inspiring Chrysler ad that aired during Sunday's big game, with the longtime Republican and Libertarian taking heat from his own party for supposedly becoming a "minion" of both the auto industry and President Barack Obama.

Well, surprise: nobody takes Clint to task and gets away with it. And when it comes to the political left, Eastwood has made it clear: he was definitely not trying to make their day.

In the wake of the rancorous political debate that exploded as a result of the Detroit-backing halftime ad—including an apparently "offended" Karl Rove blasting Eastwood's ad as an example of "Chicago-style politics"—the 81-year-old spoke out to Ron Mitchell, the producer of Fox's O'Reilly Factor.

"I just want to say that the spin stops with you guys, and there is no spin in that ad," Eastwood said. "On this I am certain."

And just in case that line wasn't drawn deep enough into the sand, he continued.

"I am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama. It was meant to be a message about, just about job growth and the spirit of America. I think all politicians will agree with it. I thought the spirit was OK."

In anything other than a contentious election year, maybe.

Still, though Eastwood was accused of being a minion, he's refusing to act as a political pawn—and gave his blessing to both ends of the political spectrum to reference the commercial, and the bipartisan spirit of it, as they saw fit.

"I am not supporting any politician at this time," he said. "Chrysler to their credit didn't even have cars in the ad. Anything they gave me for it went for charity.

"If Obama or any other politician wants to run with the spirit of that ad, go for it."

That doesn't seem to be the memo they ran with, but here's hoping.