Clint Eastwood is poised to make Tampa's day by appearing at the Republican National Convention, but his personal beliefs diverge from the party's ideology.
An icon of the type of rugged individualism that is central to the Republican party's embrace of personal liberty, Eastwood has nevertheless hesitated to tie himself to either political party. He has supported same-sex marriage, saying in an interview with GQ magazine that he evolved over the years from an Eisenhower Republican into a "social libertarian."
"Let's spend a little more time leaving everybody alone," Eastwood said.
The Republican Party platform, on the other hand, affirms that marriage can only legitimately be between a man and a woman and supports a constitutional amendment codifying that fact.
Eastwood has endorsed Mitt Romney, but he faced criticism for some Republicans for his "Halftime in America" advertisement that aired during this year's Super Bowl. While the spot enjoyed widespread acclaim, conservatives like strategist Karl Rove faulted it for appearing to support President Obama's auto bailout.
He endorsed Sen. John McCain of Arizona, then the Republican presidential candidate, in 2008, but subsequently expressed support for President Obama's victory.
"Obama is my president now and I am going to be wishing him the very best because it is what is best for all of us," Eastwood said in a December 2008 interview with the Associated Press.
Eastwood later walked back that support, saying in a 2010 interview with Katie Couric that Obama was a "nice fella" but pronouncing himself "not a fan of what' he's doing at the moment."
"I just don't think he's governing," Eastwood said, adding that "I don't think he's surrounded himself with the people he could have surrounded himself with."
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