Chrysler's Super Bowl commerical a nod to Obama?

Clint Eastwood's new commercial has some Republicans upset over themes reminiscent of President Obama's re-election campaign


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 6, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Personal Story Segment" tonight, movie icon Clinton Eastwood is known to be an independent thinker and hold many traditional values. So yesterday some were surprised to see Mr. Eastwood in a Chrysler ad that played during the Super Bowl.


EASTWOOD: People are out of work and they are hurting. And they are all wondering what they are going to do to make a comeback. And we're all scared because this isn't a game.

The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together. Now Motor City is fighting again.

This country can't be knocked out in one punch. We get right back up again and when we do, the world is going to hear the roar of our engines. Yes.

It's halftime, America. And our second half is about to begin.


O'REILLY: Well, some Republicans did not like that ad.


KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I was frankly offended by it. I'm a huge fan of Clinton 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.


O'REILLY: All right, just moments ago before air time Clinton Eastwood gave us a statement and I'm going to read it to you.

Quote, "I just want to say that the spin stops with you guys. There's no spin in that ad. On that I'm certain.

I am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama. It was meant to be a message just about job growth and the spirit of America. I think all politicians will agree with it. I thought the spirit was ok. I'm not supporting any politician.

Chrysler to their credit didn't even have cars in the ad. Anything they gave me went to charity. And if Obama or any other politician wants to run with the spirit of the ad I say go for it." Unquote -- Clinton Eastwood.

All right, now Mr. Paul, I take him at his word that this wasn't an overt political ad or anything that Clinton Eastwood did for President Obama. Do you take him at his word?

MIKE PAUL, PUBLIC RELATIONS CONSULTANT: Well, from Clint's perspective?


PAUL: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: No, no, no. He's an honest man. I know this guy for a long time. He's about as straight shooter as you could possibly get.

PAUL: I agree with you.

O'REILLY: All right, so -- but subliminally Karl Rove and you took it as a favorable to Obama?

PAUL: Well, that's what advertising is all about.


O'REILLY: Well this is a car ad though?

PAUL: Yes. But the reason why ads work is because when we're not thinking, we're thinking. There's something else happening. It's branding literally.

O'REILLY: Ok but what grabbed you about the ad that made you think it was in favor of the President?

PAUL: To me it was a classic thank you ad. Thank you for bailing us out. Thank you for what you did.


O'REILLY: Even though he didn't say anything about bailing out.

PAUL: He didn't have to say so.

O'REILLY: Ok it was you took it as because President Obama put a lot of stimulus money into Detroit.

PAUL: That's right.

O'REILLY: All right -- that this was a thank you for doing that. Mr. Shankman.

PETER SHANKMAN, MARKETING CONSULTANT: We were in here a year ago tonight talking about how Eminem, the Eminem ad that originally started the "Detroit is on its way back" movement was a political ploy. This was an ad that followed --

PAUL: This ad is very different --

O'REILLY: Wait, wait, go ahead.

SHANKMAN: This is an ad that followed a year -- a year ago when Detroit first came up with the ad that Detroit is on its way back buy American cars. It was a very successful ad. Detroit said let's do it again. And they used different --

O'REILLY: Well Chrysler say it's not everybody in Detroit.


O'REILLY: All right, but the point is that smart guys like Mr. Paul and Karl Rove, you would cede that both of them are smart guys.

SHANKMAN: They're very smart guys.

O'REILLY: Ok. All right, they took it -- they took it as a subliminal political message that the government in Washington, giving taxpayer money to private industry to keep them from going down, was worthy and good. That's how they took it.

PAUL: That's right.

SHANKMAN: And -- and you know, that's the beauty of subliminal ads. You can take it any way you want it. When I started watching it --


O'REILLY: Did you take it that way?

SHANKMAN: -- I started watch it with my father. I turned to my dad and said is Clint Eastwood announcing he's running for office? That was my first take is that he was actually doing an ad announcing he's joining the fray.

O'REILLY: So you -- the stimulus or bailout money didn't enter into your mind at all.



SHANKMAN: Not at all

O'REILLY: Ok, this is a fascinating discussion.

Ok, so now Eastwood, who I think tried to do a good thing, all right? Would you both cede that he tried to do a good thing?

PAUL: Yes.


O'REILLY: He is trying to get Americans saying we're coming back. We're going to rally around. We've got bad times. We'll work our way out of it like we've always done.

This guy is getting hammered as an ideologue. He's caught in the political wars.

So you know, that's why people are cautious about doing any of this stuff. I don't think that's fair to Eastwood though?

PAUL: But -- but I'm sure also his PR people and his people over all are saying look, you're going to have to answer some tough questions when they asked you, you know what is one punch and what's the second punch going to refer to? Is it a first term? Is it -- is it, how else, what else doesn't match up with?

O'REILLY: He doesn't -- I know this guy. Believe me. He's not -- he's not trying to get anybody elected.

PAUL: Well, he didn't write the copy, he didn't write the copy.

O'REILLY: No, he didn't. But he read the copy. And he's a director and an actor. He knows the words he's saying. And he went over and over and over. I don't really think it entered into his mind. But I could be wrong about that.

SHANKMAN: For marketing -- two points. For marketing's perspective any ad that you do that's different -- ok --


SHANKMAN: -- they didn't show a car, they didn't say what it was for. It was a you know, a comeback America. Anything you do that's different is going to get hit and you're going to take some flack of it.

Second point though is at the very end of the ad he talks about when America gets knocked down they come back -- you know what that reminded me of? I didn't think Obama. I thought -- I thought President Bush standing on the -- on 9/11 at the World Trade Center saying they're going to hear us all pretty soon. That was the first thing I thought of.

O'REILLY: Well it was something of look we all have to rally together.

SHANKMAN: And we're going to come back.

O'REILLY: And by the way it wasn't some kind of context because Clinton Eastwood had done a movie called "Grand Torino" (ph).


O'REILLY: In Detroit and I think he probably feels bad for the city which is falling apart.

PAUL: Well the another reason why I think it goes that way is.

O'REILLY: Real quick.

PAUL: Is number one, it's an election year. The incumbent is going to get the benefit of the doubt. There's certainly some ambiguity there and that's the reason why there's so much controversy.

O'REILLY: All right, we got Karl Rove coming on tomorrow. We'll ask him about it.

Gentlemen thanks very much. We appreciate it.

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