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Did Clint Eastwood just endorse a Democrat for president?

The legendary actor-director and 2012 Republican National Convention guest appeared to back a Democratic challenger over Donald Trump for the presidency.
Actor Clint Eastwood pretends to speak to President Barack Obama during the 2012 Republican National Convention held in Tampa. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times (2012)]
Actor Clint Eastwood pretends to speak to President Barack Obama during the 2012 Republican National Convention held in Tampa. [CHRIS URSO | Times (2012)]

Clint Eastwood is known as a Hollywood conservative, somewhat of a rarity in a town sometimes lambasted for its liberal exclusivity. He’s a registered Republican, but self-described Libertarian.

He’s also been a supporter of President Donald J. trump.

That, however, seems to have changed.

Eastwood sat down with the Wall Street Journal recently and appeared to switch allegiances by endorsing one of the Democratic candidates for president.

“The best thing we could do is just get Mike Bloomberg in there,” Eastwood told reporter Tunku Varadarajan.

Eastwood told Varadarajan that he approves of “certain things that Trump’s done" but said he hoped the president would “act in a more genteel way, without tweeting and calling people names."

“I would personally like for him to not bring himself to that level,” he said.

Eastwood and Trump have had a personal relationship for years. In the same interview, Eastwood tells a story of golfing with Trump and casino magnate Steve Wynn “many years ago.” In a 2016 interview with Esquire, Eastwood was asked about supporting a presidential candidate.

“I'd have to go for Trump,” he said. ”You know, because she's (Hilary Clinton) declared that she's gonna follow in Obama's footsteps. There's been just too much funny business on both sides of the aisle. She's made a lot of dough out of being a politician. I gave up dough to be a politician. I'm sure that Ronald Reagan gave up dough to be a politician.”

Eastwood famously gave a speech during the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa where he scolded an empty chair meant to represent then-president Barack Obama.

But like Bloomberg, Eastwood, too, has been a mayor. In 1986, he won an overwhelming victory to become mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif., and served a two-year term without seeking re-election.

“You can’t have the same old people in the office all the time,” he said.

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