Clint Eastwood's Super Bowl ad for Chrysler has taken on a life of its own, post-game. In the cinematic "Halftime in America," the Oscar-winning actor/director talked about America bouncing back from hard times.
"All that matters now is what's ahead, how do we come from behind, how do we come together, and how do we win? Detroit's showing us it can be done," said Eastwood in the two-minute spot, which aired during halftime. "This country can't be knocked out with one punch, we get right back up again, and when we do, the world is going to hear the roar of our engines. Yeah, it's half time America and our second half is about to begin."
The rah-rah America spot pumped up Detroit's big comeback — as we learned today, a sore spot with Karl Rove since it parallels all the same themes in Obama's reelection campaign.
"I was, frankly, offended by it," the Republican strategist told Fox News. "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 and the best-wishes of the management which is benefited by getting a bunch of our money that they'll never pay back."
Eastwood, who was originally a critic of the auto bailout, denied this ad was tied to Obama in any way. "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...If any Obama or any other politician wants to run with the spirit of that ad, go for it."
Team Obama also denied any official connection, and took this as an opportunity to remind people of Obama's support of the bailouts.
"He was not willing to allow — did not believe it was necessary to allow — the American automobile industry to collapse and disappear," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said to reporters.
Chrysler was bailed out by taxpayers and just recently made its first profit since 1997.