LOS ANGELES — Longtime Republican Clint Eastwood is pulling support from Donald Trump in the 2020 election. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the actor-director signaled that he thinks a different candidate would be the better choice.
“The best thing we could do is just get Mike Bloomberg in there,” he said.
After endorsing Mitt Romney and famously delivering a speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention to an empty chair that represented Barack Obama, Eastwood never officially backed Trump. In a 2016 interview, he expressed displeasure with Trump and Hillary Clinton, saying there’s “much funny business on both sides of the aisle.”
He praised Trump at the time because he was “onto something” and “secretly everybody’s getting tired of political correctness, kissing up.”
“We’re really in a p—- generation. Everybody’s walking on eggshells. We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist,” he said.
Now, he’s changed his tune a bit on Trump.
While he approves of “certain things” the president has done, he wishes that he 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 also touched on the controversy surrounding Olivia Wilde’s character, Kathy Scruggs, in his 2019 film “Richard Jewell.” He showed Scruggs, the real-life reporter who alleged Jewell planted a bomb at the 1996 Olympics, sleeping with an FBI source to get information. Lawyers for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the newspaper at which Scruggs worked, called the portrayal “entirely false and malicious, and…extremely defamatory and damaging.” The film was Clintwood’s worst opening in 40 years.
The director defended his right to cinematic freedom and said the newspaper was trying to shroud its “guilt” over a “reckless story.”
“Well, she hung out at a little bar in town, where mostly police officers went,” he said. “She had a boyfriend that was a police officer. Well, we just changed it in the story. We made it a federal police officer instead of a local,” he said.
Even though “Richard Jewell” was involved in a #MeToo-like controversy, Eastwood said he appreciates that the movement has empowered women to stand up “against people who are trying to shake [them] down for sexual favors.”
However, he believes that “presumption of innocence, not only in law, but in philosophy” has been lost in the increase of accusations of sexual misbehavior.