Clint Eastwood turns against Trump and backs Bloomberg for president

Oliver O'Connell
Clint Eastwood directed the Richard Jewell film, which was largely ignored during awards season: AFP/Getty

Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood has thrown his support behind Mike Bloomberg in the race for the White House.

He also thinks that Donald Trump should act “in a more genteel way, without tweeting and calling people names”, although he does admit that he supports “certain things that Trump has done”.

Eastwood made the comments in a wide ranging interview with the Wall Street Journal, in which he was blunt about his personal preference in the 2020 presidential election: “The best thing we could do is just get Mike Bloomberg in there.”

The four-time Academy Award-winning actor and director has always been upfront with his political views. He is a longtime Republican but is registered as a Libertarian.

Therefore, out of the other primary contenders, his support for Mr Bloomberg, the Republican, turned Independent, turned Democrat, former mayor of New York, is perhaps not that surprising.

In 2016 Eastwood voiced his support for Mr Trump in an expletive filled interview with Esquire. However, his most famous foray into presidential politics was a memorably bizarre on-stage conversation with an empty chair at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. An invisible Barack Obama was supposed to be seated in the chair.

He regrets the speech. Several years later, when asked what troubles him most he said: “I guess when I did that silly thing at the Republican convention, talking to the chair.”

His own political ambitions are now in the past. From 1986 to 1988 he was mayor of the picturesque Californian town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, near Monterrey. In 2001 he was appointed to the California State Park and Recreation Commission by then governor Gray Davis.

Eastwood is not alone as an entertainer whose political ambitions have gone beyond supporting and campaigning on behalf of others. California alone has seen Arnold Schwarzennegar become governor, Sonny Bono become mayor of Palm Springs, and most famously, saw Ronald and Nancy Reagan make the journey from Hollywood to the governor's mansion to the White House.

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