Eastwood disappointed by lack of bipartisanship

The actor and director says Simpson-Bowles may have been our last chance for political cooperation.

By Jason Notte Feb 8, 2013 12:27PM
Halftime in America is over and talking to the chair didn't work, so Clint Eastwood's taking his political disappointment directly to the people.

The actor, director and Man With No Name went on CNBC on Friday to lament the lack of bipartisan cooperation in Congress and to give some credit to former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson and former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles for at least trying back in 2010. He worried aloud that the intractable disputes between both sides of the aisle will lead to political complacency that will only further complicate national politics.

"It's almost like they don't give a damn," Eastwood said. "If they don't give a damn, why do they expect anybody else to?"

It's been an unusually active political cycle for Eastwood, whose appearance in Chrysler's "Halftime in America" Super Bowl ad last year in the middle of primary season made onlookers speculate which side he would take in the 2012 presidential election. He supported John McCain in 2008, but his dissatisfaction with President Barack Obama's economic policies led him to the Republican National Convention and his conversation with a piece of furniture standing in for the president.Image: Washington, D.C. (Bilderbuch/Design Pics/Corbis)

With Obama re-elected and the nation's economy facing more cliffs than Wile E. Coyote, Eastwood longed for 2010 and the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, best known as Simpson-Bowles. The plan would have cut the federal deficit by $4 trillion, reduced debt by 60% by 2023 and eliminated the deficit altogether by 2035.

Despite support for the measure from Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and McCain, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman sniffed at it as "unserious." The measure's tax tinkering was criticized and its spending cuts, especially those applied to Social Security, were savaged by detractors.

"They were just dismissed, and that was the end of it," Eastwood told CNBC.

The plan died in committee, with votes against it from such notables as failed Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and Democratic Senate fixture Max Baucus. Amid recent drama, including the fiscal cliff, the "sequester" of spending cuts and the debt ceiling debate, Simpson-Bowles is getting a fresh look. Eastwood suggests it should be a long one, as Simpson and Bowles may be our last example of bipartisanship for a while. Why focus on them?

"They're probably smarter than most."

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Feb 8, 2013 4:43PM
they are turning the usa into  a suburb of china why do you think they want gun restrictions  The gun  use is do to people not given a damn they see no future in this country and see the government don't respect life why should they just like china
Feb 8, 2013 4:41PM
Who cares what Eastwood thinks he is a right wing loon
Feb 8, 2013 4:36PM
We had a balanced budget. Then we elected Bush.
Feb 8, 2013 4:35PM
I wish Clint Eastwood would run for president,  or Ted Nugent, and Clint be Vice President.... We would see some changes for the better.................
Feb 8, 2013 4:35PM

Sorry Mr. Eastwood, but you are not telling us "Lower Class/Middle Class" anything new.

Imagine getting dismissed on a daily basis, in everyday life, and no monetary resources to help you fight it. 

Welcome to our world. The world where you are happy to be kicked around to have a job to pay for the basics.

No one ever said "life was fair" and our government proves that on a daily basis.


Feb 8, 2013 4:30PM

 Give it up ! Our nation as we once knew it isgone. We now have drones, cams on street corners and all public buildings; including places of business and who knows where else. They want to disarm us,etc.etc,etc. Big brother is here;George Orwell was right. God bless us all.

Feb 8, 2013 4:16PM

Maybe I'm alone but it seems to me Republicans have started to give a little a ground after years of obstruction, and I see the Democrats doing the same although to be honest I think they have been the adults in the room for the last four years.  I see the Republican coming to terms with the fact that they have become the dumb party their words not mine and no one is comfortable witha self grade of dumb.


Feb 8, 2013 3:56PM
Everyone including the Republicans know that we need to get rid og this right wing faction in the Republican party called the tea party. They have been around for decades with their conspiracy theories etc.

They need to crawl back under the rock from which they came.

Then and only then will we tuly have an opportunity for bi-partisan agreements that are nased on compromise..

Feb 8, 2013 3:56PM
Our elected officials will never be happy, until they totally destroy this country.  Wonder where they plan on moving when that occurs.  Their children, and grandchildren must be very happy. 
Feb 8, 2013 3:54PM




Feb 8, 2013 3:54PM

Who decided Eastwood was such an expert on finances? Or on bipartisanship, for that matter?? Playing "Dirty Harry", or even being the mayor of rather small town doesn't tell me anything about YOUR qualifications in this morass that two 'credit-card' wars,and a combination of many other bone-head moves have gotten us into--there's an old saying that goes something like, "If you don't have something constructive to say, just keep your mouth shut & nobody'll

know you're a fool." Actually, that's two sayings combined,but it works!

Feb 8, 2013 3:49PM
Tucker...4 years is  plenty long to ruin this country,steal and corrupt.Do not underestimate our able politicians!!!! Duck season,Deer season,Turkey...Why not at least one WEEK open season on our beloved politicians?????Tell me why not???
Feb 8, 2013 3:49PM
Personal attacks on anyone's opinions is not helpful.  In my opinion the problem is the Political Class (PC).  These folks aren't really qualified to do much in the way of creative problem solving, budget control or management in general.  They capitalize on the public's ignorance on most issues and reduce complex solutions to short sound bites.  There is almost no  discipline in the PC and they really are cowards when it comes to the big issues; fearful that they may not re-elected.  The seniority system in congress ensures that the old ideas, spend more, create give aways to half the population, preserve  the PC benefits, attack the rights of the People to benefit the few, is an enormous problem.   The solutions to most of the issues we encounter are not really that difficult.  What is required is understood and well-defined in Simpson-Bowles.   Truth is we are governed by cowards who value their personal well-being above those of the people
Feb 8, 2013 3:42PM
Politicians should only be allowed to serve 4 Yrs.  just like jury duty, it should be everyone gets a chance to have a say not just a few. And they dont get special health insurance for life or salary for life.   4 years might not be long enough time to get corrupted.
Feb 8, 2013 3:36PM
Wow! What a genius critique of our broken legislative process. They could have had anybody come on the show to stammer the way  Clint does in his old age. He needs to comb his hair and stay behind the camera lens. It sucks to get old. 
Feb 8, 2013 3:36PM
Stop .The plan is working!!! Destroy this stupid country from inside. And you still don't know why  the Nobel prize was given???Pitiful sheeple.
Feb 8, 2013 3:34PM

Ignorance and apathy.  They don't know and they don't care.  Hardworking Americans have worked

all their lives and taken what was offered. Not excessive.  Paid their way all the way.  No free free

free.  Their jobs have been given to gluttons who "want a better life" (than the rest of us), and are

given freedom to take in abundance.  Welfare, EBT, "redevelopment" endowments and on & on.

Now another 11million to add to their volume to encumber us more.

The high and mighty in the political society are so wealthy and secure, they don't feel our aches and

anger.  Violent revolution?  Not likely.  We've become complacent or at least incapable.

Thanks, Clint, for your persistent input.

Mike T.

Feb 8, 2013 3:22PM

if he realy feels this way, then he shouldnt have spoke at the repulican convention.


democrats and republicans are the same. they just have different groups of people they are trying to make rich. 

America's dead but just like the Roman Empire it's going to take years for everyone to realize it even after the collapse.
Feb 8, 2013 3:18PM
yes and what about the unfunded wars.
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