Eastwood Super Bowl ad raises Karl Rove ire

Eastwood endorses Obama in Super Bowl ad: Rove
Actor and director Clint Eastwood speaks with reporters during the opening of the Warner Bros. Theater at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012.
AP Photo/Cliff Owen

A leading Republican says one of the commercials from the Super Bowl is a quiet political endorsement for President Obama.

Karl Rove, former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, saw the Clint Eastwood Chrysler "It's Halftime in America" ad as political payback from the auto industry to President Obama.

"I was, frankly, offended by it," Rove told Fox News. "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."

However, other people have a different view of the ad.

In a radio interview, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said, "I thought that it was pro-American." He added, "I know Clint personally. I can assure you he did not make a pro-Obama ad."

That's something Clint Eastwood confirmed, telling a Fox News producer, "I am not affiliated with Mr. Obama and the commercial was about job growth and the spirit of America."

The chief executive officer of Chrysler denies that there was any political motivation here.

The bailout of Chrysler began during the Bush administration with $4 billion. Another $8.5 billion was added during the Obama administration for a total of $12.5 billion. About 90 percent of that amount was paid back.

However, this may be a political football for the foreseeable future, Reid observed on "CBS This Morning."

Charlie Rose said, "The president and his team clearly believe the bailout is a very big plus for them because the president mentions it all the time and so does his staff. I assume we'll see a lot more during the campaign." "Absolutely," Reid said. "It fits in nicely with the fundamental campaign message which Biden summed up as 'Bin Laden is dead and GM' -- or in this case Chrysler -- 'is very much alive.'"

For more on the ad controversy and discussion about it with Chip Reid on "CBS This Morning," check out the video in the player above.

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Special Section: Super Bowl XLVI