Rove Tosses Penalty Flag at Eastwood Ad, Calling It 'Offensive'

Monday, 06 Feb 2012 04:14 PM

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Like any sports contest, Super Bowl XLVI had no shortage of Monday morning quarterbacks, although a commercial starring Clint Eastwood made their day instead of mere squabbles over Eli Manning vs. Tom Brady. But the second-guessing was just as spirited over the commercial, with Karl Rove and other conservatives dissing it while the White House is praising it.

Early reactions lauded the Chrysler commercial, titled “Halftime in America,” as offering homage to Ronald Reagan’s “It’s Morning in America Again” video ad. And they noted that Academy Award-winning director and actor Eastwood is a longtime Republican.

Story continues below the video.

After instant replays of the ad, some folks were tossing penalty flags instead of applause, contending that Eastwood was offsides.

Rove and some other conservatives interpreted the ad as an endorsement of the Obama administration’s bailout of Chrysler and GM, The Washington Post reported.

“I was, frankly, offended by it,” Rove said on Fox News, according to the Post. “I'm a huge fan of Clint Eastwood. I thought it was an extremely well-done ad, but it is a sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics, and the president of the United States and his political minions are, in essence, using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising.”

Michelle Malkin chimed in with a tweet, “Agh. WTH? Did I just see Clint Eastwood fronting an auto bailout ad???”

Lest there be any doubt about where some other political observers saw the ad falling, Obama’s campaign manager, David Axelrod, and White House communications director, Dan Pfeiffer, both praised the ad, the Post reported.

The ad’s themes were reminiscent of President Barack Obama’s message that the administration brought Detroit back from the brink. In the ad, Eastwood said, “They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together. Now Motor City is fighting again.”

Scenes from the union protests in Wisconsin also were used in the ad, according to the Post.

Eastwood, whose films include “Gran Torino,” a movie about the decline of Detroit, supported Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the 2008 presidential election. However, the Post noted that he has given mixed messages about his political affiliation, as opposed to reports earlier in the day that he is a Republican stalwart. He also told the Los Angeles Times last year that he opposed the bank and auto industry bailouts, the Post reported.

And here is Ronald Reagan’s famous “It’s Morning in America Again” commercial that Eastwood’s echoes:

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