Clint Eastwood tells a producer of "The O'Reilly Factor" that "there is no spin" in his Chrysler spot and that he is "certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama."
Eastwood said, "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."
His full remarks are here.
He said that he donated his fee to charity.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the spot "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 he denied that they had anything to do with the spot, or that it was an in-kind contribution from Eastwood.
Update: Eastwood's manager, the colorful Leonard Hirshan, also denies it was political. He doesn't even call it an ad, but a PSA.
John Dickerson at Slate can't see the spot as anything other than political.
He writes, "[A]s everyone knows, it’s hard to argue with Clint Eastwood. “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. Ya, it's halftime in America, and our second half is about to begin.” If Clint agrees with Obama—that America is on the edge of a return—how can Obama be wrong?
"Of course, Chrysler was quick to say the ad was not political. It would be dumb if they'd planned it to be—you need Democrats and Republicans to buy your cars. But Chrysler doesn't get to decide what's political. By playing on the themes of American greatness during a presidential election year, they're necessarily embracing political themes."
The spot came from Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, and the firm has a history of creating spots with inspiring messaging, according to Think Progress.