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Clint Eastwood Chrysler ad: why some Republicans support it

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Cliff Owen/AP

(Read caption) Actor and director Clint Eastwood speaks with reporters during the opening of the Warner Bros. Theater at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington earlier this month.

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Many Republicans didn’t like Chrysler's Clint Eastwood Super Bowl ad, “It’s Halftime in America.” Former Bush White House political guru Karl Rove was perhaps the biggest name to voice his dislike of the spot, which featured Mr. Eastwood talking in his iconic granite-chip voice about Detroit and the auto industry’s renewal.

The ad – and the positive way in which some Obama administration officials responded to it­ – “makes me nervous about the link between big government and the big businesses it bailed out,” wrote Mr. Rove in a Feb. 7 Fox News opinion piece.

Now, we’ve written before that as a native Detroiter we saw the ad as a paen to the Motor City and its resilience in the face of adversity. And that’s how Eastwood himself is portraying it. In a statement released earlier this week to Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, the former mayor of Carmel, Calif., said that he thought the ad was something all politicians could get behind.


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