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Karl Rove Says Clint Eastwood's Chrysler Super Bowl Ad Is "Chicago-Style Politics"

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Feb 7, 2012 8:20PM


Karl Rove, former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, says he was offended by Chrysler's "Halftime in America" Super Bowl ad starring Clint Eastwood, and he claims the ad is "Chicago-style politics."

Rove told Fox News, “The President of the United States' political minions are, in essence, using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising and the best wishes of the management, which has benefited by getting a bunch of our money that they'll never pay back.” Rove also wrote on his Fox News blog:

Second, regarding "Halftime in America," it was great ad, full of sentiments most can agree on. And I'm a huge fan of Clint Eastwood, an American icon. But administration officials and Obama campaign leaders immediately took to Twitter to draw attention to the ad as support for their man.

Rove pointed to tweets from David Axelrod (who called it a "powerful spot") and Dan Pfeiffer as evidence of Obama's endorsement of the ad.

Watch the full Fox News Chicago report here:

Republican Karl Rove Labels Clint Eastwood Chrysler Commercial an Obama Ad, Most Taxpayers Don't:

First, we have to say this: If you think anything Obama has done qualifies as "Chicago-style politics," as Costner says in The Untouchables, "Yeah well... you're not from Chicago." If Obama ran the nation the way Daley ran this town, 40 percent of Congress would be hand-picked and appointed by him directly. Health care reform would've been voted on in less than 24 hours. Rove's idea of "Chicago-style" politics might as well be putting a politician on a poppy seed bun and dragging it through the garden.

We agree with automobile news blog Jalopnik's assessment, that, "Anyone on the right or the left who thinks the ad was pro-Obama or pro-Republican are demonstrating exactly the bullshit false divides Eastwood warns against in the ad." The CEO of Chrysler told the Detroit Free Press the ad has "zero political content."

Eastwood sent a statement to Fox News, which Bill O'Reilly read on The O'Reilly Factor yesterday. "l am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr Obama," Eastwood said. "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." Watch O'Reilly read Eastwood's full statement in the video here:

As for whether the ad is an Eastwood endorsement of the automobile industry bailout, Jalopnik pointed out that just three months ago, Eastwood said, "We shouldn't be bailing out the banks and car companies. If a CEO can't figure out how to make his company profitable, then he shouldn't be the CEO."

Eastwood was a Republican when he voted for Dwight Eisenhower, and he was "nonpartisan" when he was mayor of Carmel-by-the-sea, Calif., from 1986 to 1988. In October 2010, he told Katie Couric that Obama is a "nice fella" but he's "not a fan of what he's doing."

The LA Times movie blog argued that Eastwood shouldn't be anywhere near the eye of this political storm because his work is decidedly apolitical, saying:

Eastwood even went to the trouble of making two World War II movies, “Letters from Iwo Jima” and “Flags of our Fathers,” to show both sides’ perspective. If anything, the argument is not that Eastwood has gotten too tendentious — it’s that he’s been too neutral.

Just last week, The Daily Caller asked Eastwood if he still felt about Obama the way he did in 2010 and whether Eastwood supported a particular GOP candidate. His response, “Now, whether any of these other guys [Republicans] would be any better, it’s a coin flip.”

When the interviewer asked who he would vote for as a “self-described libertarian,” Eastwood would only concede that Ron Paul is "as good as anybody else." Watch video of that exchange here:

By the way, according to the London Daily Mail, the ad wasn't filmed in Detroit. Stadium shots were done in New Orleans, and Eastwood is filmed in a tunnel at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. In case you didn't see the ad, watch it here. If you still think it sides with one particular party then "Go ahead, make my day" the comments.