by Keith Laing, The Hill Newspaper
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh is suggesting that actor Clint Eastwood was tricked into making a Super Bowl commercial for Chrysler that Republicans have suggested is an endorsement of President Obama.
Eastwood starred in a commercial — broadcast during the Super Bowl halftime show — that touted the recovery of U.S. auto companies after the bailouts of 2008 and 2009. The commercial, titled “It’s Halftime, America,” features Eastwood saying: “It’s halftime, America, and our second half is about to begin.”
Eastwood has said since the commercial was broadcast that it was not an endorsement of any political candidate, despite its similarities to the president’s appeals for reelection, including his State of the Union declaration that “the American auto industry is back.”
But Limbaugh said on his popular radio show Tuesday that he does not believe the Chrysler ad was apolitical.
“I think Eastwood got scammed,” Limbaugh said during the show. “I think he got roped into doing something he thought was patriotic, and ended up being played.
“I’m just gonna give him the benefit of the doubt and suggest he got suckered into this. All this talk of ‘working together?’ You know, that’s always what people say when the Democrats are about to get shellacked.”
Limbaugh also contended that the commercial was not shot in the city it attempted to promote, Detroit, which is home to Chrysler and the other major American auto companies.
“I’m sure you’ve heard by now that they didn’t film any of this commercial in Detroit,” Limbaugh said to his listeners Tuesday. “They filmed it in New Orleans and Los Angeles. Why do that? If you want to show Detroit rebounding, go there.”
Democrats and aides to President Obama have cheered the Chrysler ad.
“Powerful spot. Did Clint shoot that, or just narrate it?” Obama campaign manager David Alexrod said in a tweet after the commercial aired.
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has joined Eastwood in saying the ad was not political.
“We are as apolitical as you can make us,” Marchionne said of the Super Bowl ad in an interview with Detroit radio station WJR. “I wasn’t expressing a view, and certainly nobody inside Chrysler was attempting to influence decisions.”