For those who saw it as a sign of backing for President Obama, his weekend endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney might be seen as reversing his field.
Saying he believed “the country needs a boost”, the 82-year-old actor and director endorsed Romney in Sun Valley, Idaho.
The setting was a fundraiser that brought in more than $2m (€1.6m) for the Victory Fund, a joint effort between the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee.
Eastwood said at the gathering that he became aware of Romney when he was filming the 2003 movie Mystic River in Massachusetts.
“And at that time Romney was running for governor and I kept seeing him appear on television all the time and I said ‘God this guy, he’s too handsome to be governor, but he does look like he could be president,’” he said.
Eastwood cited tax reform as one reason he was backing Romney, telling the crowd that former Massachusetts governor was “going to restore, hopefully, a decent tax system that we need badly... so that there’s a fairness and people are not pitted against one another as to who’s paying taxes and who isn’t.”
The Dirty Harry star and Oscar-winning director of Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby had in February said he wasn’t supporting any politician at that time. Some saw the “half-time in America” ad he made for the Super Bowl as a nod toward President Barack Obama. Eastwood responded then by saying he was not “politically affiliated” with the president.
“Now more than ever do we need Gov Romney. I’m going to be voting for him,” Eastwood said.
Eastwood is Romney’s highest-profile celebrity supporter. Romney has also earned the endorsement of Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight and rock star Kid Rock.
Romney, demonstrating he knows a cue when he gets one, said that Eastwood’s backing “made my day.”
What he would make of the backing he’s getting from Jenna Jameson, the so-called “Queen of Porn”, is anybody’s guess.
The porn star took to the stage at a San Francisco strip club last week and announced she was ready for a Romney presidency.
“I’m very looking forward to a Republican being back in office,” Jameson said as she sipped champagne. “When you’re rich, you want a Republican in office.”
Jameson, who by 2001 earned $60,000 for a day- and-a-half long DVD shoot and $8,000 per night dancing at strip clubs, switched positions politically speaking in 2008. Previously, she had supported Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Romney’s representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
Meanwhile Romney and Republican National Committee say their political fundraising machine netted more than $101m last month.
Romney’s presidential campaign said about 26% of the money raised in July came in donations of less than $250.
The campaign says that Romney, the RNC and state GOP parties have nearly $186m in cash on hand.
Romney’s finance chairman, Spencer Zwick, says the Republicans are “well on track to raise the money to be successful in November”.
President Barack Obama’s fundraising totals for July were not yet available, but Romney brought in more cash than Obama during both May and June.
GOP-aligned “super” PACs also are raising and spending millions of dollars to defeat Obama.