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Clint Eastwood denies Super Bowl ad had any political intent

Feb 6, 2012, 4:35 PM EDT

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As controversy over Clint Eastwood’s Super Bowl ad, “Halftime in America,” continues to roil, Rowdy Yates himself spoke up about it. Some critics, among them Karl Rove, have said that the ad — for Chrysler — amounts to an endorsement for the Obama administration. Politico:

“I am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama,” the actor told “O’Reilly Factor” producer Ron Mitchell according to Fox News. “It was meant to be a message … just about job growth and the spirit of America. I think all politicians will agree with it.”

Eastwood reiterated that he’s “not supporting any politician at this time” and added that if “Obama or any other politician wants to run with the spirit of that ad, go for it.”

But there’s more. Now we learn that the commercial wasn’t even filmed in Detroit. See Clint in the tunnel there? That was filmed at the Los Angeles Coliseum, a Chrysler representative told The Weekly Standard. Other parts of the ad were shot in New Orleans. This would be like finding out that instead of San Francisco, Dirty Harry was shot in Chicago. Or that your Pace Picante Sauce was made in New York City.

Earlier today we examined the controversy surrounding the ad, and how a few noses have been bent out of shape over the fact that Eastwood, an avowed fiscal conservative, seems to be giving implied approval to the Obama administration’s bailout of the auto industry. In it, Eastwood says, in part: “The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together, now Motor City is fighting again.”

The Weekly Standard:

But contrary to what the might ad suggest, the spot was actually filmed in New Orleans and Los Angeles. “Yes, part of it was filmed in New Orleans . . . and some was filmed in various parts—such as Los Angeles,” Dianna Gutierrez said. She specifically points to the tunnel scenes as being taken at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, while the stadium shots were in New Orleans.

Asked whether any part of the ad was filmed in Detroit, Gutierrez said that previously taken footage from various parts of the Motor City was used. No image of Detroit was shot for the specific use in this ad.

Meanwhile, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne was denying the ad had any political content. London Daily Mail:

Marchionne said that the automaker purchased the ad in an effort to convince people that the company has changed. He didn’t give an exact cost but said Chrysler paid less than $9 million for the ad.

Mr Marchionne added: “We are as apolitical as you can make us … and I sincerely hope that it doesn’t get utilized as political fodder in a debate.”

Too late.

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Was Clint Eastwood’s ‘Halftime in America’ Super Bowl ad an endorsement for Obama? [Off the Bench]

  1. natedawg44 - Feb 6, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    I thought it was the worst ad of the night. Are you really going to go out and make a 30 grand commitment based on how bad you feel about a city? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want the overriding emotion driving off the lot to be one of pity. What car are they selling? What does it look like? Why should I buy it? If you are going to use sympathy to sell a car, get Sally Struthers. Kia hands down was better: good looking car, supermodels, Mötley Crüe, explosions. They even kick our ass at commercials now.