While he isn’t exactly Clyde from “Every Which Way but Loose,” PIMCO’s Mohamed El-Erian is sticking by Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood and the controversy surrounding Eastwood’s “Halftime in America” Super Bowl advertisement.
“Viewed as a standalone, the controversy generated by the Clint Eastwood Super Bowl commercial is really silly,” El-Erian writes in a piece for Huffington Post. “Yet it points to something profound that has and, if left unaddressed, will continue to undermine America’s ability to regain economic dynamism, create ample jobs, and deal with growing inequalities.”
Eastwood’s commercial aired on NBC at half time on Super Bowl Sunday. Yes, America has stumbled, Eastwood notes, with people out of work, hurting and scared. But, by pulling together and acting as one, Americans will come from behind and win. “That’s what we do.”
“This country can’t be knocked out by one punch,” Eastwood concludes. “We get right back up; and when we do, the world will hear the roar of our engines.”
Conservative critics saw it as an endorsement of President Barack Obama’s economic policies, and the auto company bailouts he championed in particular. Much of the outcry stemmed from the fact that Eastwood has long been thought to have conservative political leanings.