Clint Eastwood is one of Hollywood’s most famous conservative figures. This year, though, the 89-year-old actor and director has announced that he’ll be supporting Mike Bloomberg in the presidential race. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Eastwood also discussed the #MeToo movement, his career, and his political views.
“The best thing we could do is just get Mike Bloomberg in there,” Eastwood said in the interview.
The Richard Jewell director also said that he personally identifies as a libertarian, but that he respects other people’s ideas and is always willing to learn. Eastwood also said that there were “certain things” Trump has done that he approves of.
Ultimately, though, Eastwood said he felt disheartened by the “ornery” state of politics today. He also said that he wished President Trump would act “in a more genteel way, without tweeting and calling people names.” The actor and director said that he wished Trump would refuse to bring himself to “that level.”
The social media reaction to Eastwood’s endorsement was mixed. Some felt that, while Eastwood was welcome to his opinion, his support for Bloomberg was a mistake.
“Everyone can have an opinion. Eastwood is no different but Bloomberg won’t beat Trump,” one user wrote.
Others were confused by The Mule director’s endorsement, in part because he backed Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
In a speech in August of 2016, Eastwood did suggest that he would vote for Trump in that year’s election. “I’d have to go for Trump… you know, ’cause [Hillary’s] declared that she’s gonna follow in Obama’s footsteps,” Eastwood said, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Still, others seemed surprised by Eastwood’s decision, but said that they would continue to back President Trump anyway.
Eastwood was a notorious critic of Barack Obama during the former president’s two terms in office. In 2012, he gave a famous speech at the Republic National Convention in which he gave an interview to an empty chair, pretending that Obama was sitting in it.
Elsewhere in his interview, Eastwood discussed the controversy around the depiction of journalist Kathy Scruggs in Richard Jewell. In the film, Scruggs is depicted as having traded sex for the name of a bomb suspect in the attempted bombing of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Scruggs died in 2001.
In the interview, Eastwood said that Scruggs was known to have hung out at a bar frequented by police and that she was known to have dated a police officer. The director said that they simply changed the details so that Scruggs was dating a federal officer. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where Scruggs was employed, has denied that the portrayal contains any truth.