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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402Comments
Feb 8, 2013 6:46PM
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Theres one simple trick to it and its the only power we have on these self serving politicians. Vote them all out, thats really all you can do. They figure people will forget, but please dont. Vote them all out. please please please
Feb 8, 2013 6:45PM
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The politicians, both parties used in us THE FEAR FACTOR for keep us in check and under control, we are slaves from this evil agentes on the government and Wall street
Feb 8, 2013 6:45PM
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Your absoltely right there Clint .  Even Bob Dole couldnt get his party to budge when he visited the chamber .     All they seem to care about is the rich getting richer , hiding their offshore profits from being taxed and killing off the postal service so whats left can raise their rates and gouge the people of our country more yet  for shipping fees .
Feb 8, 2013 6:44PM
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I don't think we need Clint to tell us how screwed up our congress is. They are people we elected because like lobbyists we think they will do what we want. We people are as divided and unable to compromise with one another as they are. Our way or the highway! When we decide to quit hating one another for our beliefs and cooperate even tho we must give in on certain things then we are stuck with our government.  
Feb 8, 2013 6:44PM
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Isnt that so true! He reminds me of my grandfather George!
Feb 8, 2013 6:44PM
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I think Clint Eastwood should be President for just 1 year..................thats all................1 year. Take care of Iran and North Korea. Done.
Feb 8, 2013 6:43PM
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Republicans want to cut where cutting shouldn't be done.  Depriving people of the very money they paid into Social Security is ridiculous.  Social Security isn't an entitlement as these Republicans keep referring to it.  Cut out the tax credits large corporations receive and get these same wealthy corporations to pay their fair share.  Money they spend on tax experts to reduce their taxes and money they spend on lobbyist to get laws changed to favor them would go a long way in leveling the field.  While Republicans are harping on welfare recipients as being free loaders they don't consider the really wealthy corporations that avoid paying tax as being free loaders when in fact they are.  They suck the wealth out of this country and see no need to give anything back. 

 

Who cares what Clint Eastwood thinks.  He is just another sore Romney supporter that lost.

Feb 8, 2013 6:43PM
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maybe he should get that chair of his out and talk to it to see what is going to happen next? Why should we care about anything this dude has to say (all talk and no action) go back to making movies something you good at and shut up!
Feb 8, 2013 6:43PM
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They don't care because they are only interested in ENRICHING themselves & are in constant POWER STRUGGLES TO do that, plus we have a dysfunctional  PRESIDENT WHO IS A dICATOR by nature and wqas raised on a SILK PILLOW
Feb 8, 2013 6:42PM
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Warren Buffetts solution makes sense to me!

Feb 8, 2013 6:42PM
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How people vote (or not vote) is determined by their pocketbook. If they work for a company that gets

government contracts they will vote for the Senator that helped that company get that contract. If that person gets a government paycheck you better bet that person will support a congress that will keep that government job open. That is what is going on in Europe right now as we speak and that is why

we have lost so many manufacturing jobs here in the good old U.S.A. 

Feb 8, 2013 6:42PM
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CAREER POLITICIANS it won't be a career for the politician if the problems are fixed! as long as there is a problem a politician has a nice cushy job with all the benefits.

STOP PAYING the politicians and problems will go away because only Volunteers will go into office because they TRULY want to fix the problems!

Feb 8, 2013 6:42PM
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Congress cares; they care very much....about themselves. When they say they are performing public service, they have forgotten the meaning of the word "service". We, the public, are serving them. They shake our hand and then pick our pockets. A more disreputable bunch could not be found.
Feb 8, 2013 6:41PM
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Eastwood is right.  But we have a clash between the two sides over spending.  That is a tough issue because spending needs to be curbed.  The trick is how.
Feb 8, 2013 6:38PM
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Too bad he lost all credibility with the chair thing at the RNC tea-haters club.  Now, no one is listening to him.  In reality, what is he actually doing to help?  Going on TV to underline how bad it is?  Like we don't already know.  Now he is calling out bi-parisanship when he himself is polarizing it.

Feb 8, 2013 6:38PM
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All politicians work for themselves. That's it; end of story. The problem is that, for the most part, anyone who aggressively seeks an office is probably the last person that should be there. Many people that would actually be most fit for the job have too much integrity to want it or try to get in.
Feb 8, 2013 6:36PM
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Take a good plan, package it with a bad plan and you get no plan but keep paying the planners.  Now, guess who wins.
Feb 8, 2013 6:35PM
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I describe myself as a republican, having voted democrat once in the last 40 years.  I think that the republicans do not have a clue about what they are doing wrong.  We elected all officials to represent the people, NOT the party.  This is the reason that I voted for Obama this time around.  Republicans need to wake up or they will be surprised again next time.
Feb 8, 2013 6:34PM
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The American people are as guilty as the politicians.  Who voted for these people?  As long as we continue sending the same people back to Washington, we will keep getting the same results. Congress has an approval rating of about 25% (on a good day) but we re-elect 75% of them.  I don't understand.   A guy I work with likes the expression "If you always do, what you always did, you will always get what you always got"  Think about it the next time you go to vote!
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