WASHINGTON--Clint Eastwood's evocative Super Bowl ad-- "Halftime in America"--made for Chrysler, with no pictures of cars--was not intended to covertly boost President Barack Obama, the actor said Monday.
Eastwood told Fox News O'Reilly Factor producer Ron Mitchell:
"I just want to say that the spin stops with you guys, and there is no spin in that ad. On this I am certain.
"l 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.
"I am not supporting any politician at this time.
"Chrysler to their credit didn't even have cars in the ad.
"Anything they gave me for it went for charity.
"If any Obama or any other politician wants to run with the spirit of that ad, go for it."
Fox News contributor Karl Rove said Monday he was "offended" by the ad and accused the Obama's "political minions" of "using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the Obama team had nothing to do with the ad at the Monday briefing.
Q Did the White House or the campaign have any role in the creation of that ad, or advising on that ad, or consulting on the ad?
MR. CARNEY: No.
Q Were you pleased with the ad?
MR. CARNEY: It was news to me when I saw it. Look, I think --
Q Do you consider it an in-kind contribution from Clint Eastwood?
MR. CARNEY: I mean, the answer to your question, Roger, is no. The ad points out, I think, what is significant -- a company that has rebounded obviously wants to sell more cars, and that's what advertising is about. But it does point out a simple fact, which is that the automobile industry in this country was on its back, and potentially poised to liquidate three years ago, and this President made decisions that were not very popular at the time that were guided by two important principles: One, that he should do what he could to ensure that 1 million jobs would not be lost; and two, that the American automobile industry should be able to thrive globally if the right conditions were created, and that included the kinds of reforms and restructuring that Chrysler and GM undertook in exchange for the assistance from the American taxpayer.
He was not willing to allow -- did not believe it was necessary to allow the American automobile industry to collapse and disappear. And so he made the decisions he made, and believes they were the right decisions.