Reuters is reporting that the GOP is crying foul over a Chrysler ad that ran during the Super Bowl on Sunday, showing Clint Eastwood delivering a tough-talking halftime pep talk to America.
In the ad — dubbed "Halftime in America" — Eastwood extols the resiliency of the American spirit — as exemplified by the auto industry's efforts to bounce back from its financial woes.
"This country can't be knocked out with one punch, we get right back up again," Eastwood growls in the ad.
This was somehow interpreted by some — notably among them, former Bush administration senior adviser Karl Rove — as a show of support for President Barack Obama and the auto-industry bailout.
Declaring himself "offended" by the ad during a Fox News segment, Rove opined that the ad was "a sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics."
"I was, frankly, offended by it," Rove said. "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."
Rove also suggested that Chrysler, et al, "feel the need to do something to repay their political patrons."
Eastwood's manager, Leonard Hirshan, was also dismissive of Rove and company's claim, telling New York magazine, "He rewrote it to make it suit his needs … People have to understand that what he was doing was saying to America, 'Get yourselves together — all of you — and make this a second half.' It's not a political thing."
The GOP is reaching here. If anything, the party is showing fear that Obama can seize on his decision to work with the auto industry as part of his re-election platform.