Entries in Super Bowl (6)


Gingrich Praises Clint Eastwood Superbowl Ad

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) -- Karl Rove said he was offended by Chrysler’s Clint Eastwood halftime Super Bowl ad and other Republicans grumbled that the ad subtly promoted the interests of President Obama, who has made the bailout and the seeming resurgence of the U.S. car industry a major economic sales pitch for his re-election.

But Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker from Georgia who is running for president as a Republican, said Wednesday that he liked the ad.

“I have to confess I liked the Clint Eastwood halftime ad,” Gingrich told a crowd at Jergens Inc. during a campaign stop in Cleveland. “I mean, I liked the tone of that ad. The world has counted us down before and we’re just regrouping and I believe with your help in the primary and your help in the general election, we can, in fact, develop an approach that will put America back on the right track.”

In the ad, which ran Sunday night, Eastwood said, “It’s halftime in America, too. People are out of work, and they’re hurting. And they’re all wondering what they’re going to do to make a comeback. And we’re all scared because this isn’t a game. The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together, now Motor City is fighting again.”

Amid criticism from the Right, Eastwood later issued a statement saying, "I am certainly not affiliated with Mr. Obama."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Eastwood: ‘I Am Certainly Not Affiliated with Mr. Obama’

Indigo/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Clint Eastwood made a career playing tough guys who don't mince words, and now he's setting the record straight: he's not shilling for President Obama.

Chrysler's "Halftime in America" Super Bowl ad, in which Eastwood discussed the economic challenges the United States faces, became a political football seconds after it aired. Obama administration officials were quick to praise the ad, touting it as a defense of Obama's billion dollar auto bailout, which critics charge was political payback for union support of Obama. Conservatives were just as quick to blast it for the same reasons.

But in a statement to a producer of Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor, Eastwood, a former Republican mayor, said, "I am certainly not affiliated with Mr. Obama. I am not supporting any politician at this time. Chrysler to their credit didn’t even have cars in the ad. Anything they gave me for it went for charity. If any Obama or any other politician wants to run with the spirit of that ad, go for it."

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer tweeted seconds after the ad aired, saying, “Saving the America Auto Industry: Something Eminem and Clint Eastwood can agree on." Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore tweeted: "...Clint, the consensus is u done a good thing...& your sermon seemed 2 b a call 2 give O his 'second half.'"

On the other side of the fence, conservatives like columnist and bestselling author Michelle Malkin tweeted their disbelief. "WTH? Did I just see Clint Eastwood fronting an auto bailout ad?" Malkin posted.

Eastwood, the former Mayor of Carmel, California, has previously gone on record saying the government's taxpayer-funded stimulus package and the billions of dollars spent on auto bailouts were a bad idea. "We shouldn’t be bailing out the banks and car companies," he told The Los Angeles Times last year. "If a CEO can’t figure out how to make his company profitable, then he shouldn’t be the CEO."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Talks Iran, Economy: 'I Deserve a Second Term'

The White House/Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama sat down with NBC’s Matt Lauer on Sunday in a brief interview that aired before the Super Bowl.  For the last three years the president has done exclusive game-day interviews with whichever network is airing the NFL championship game.

Besides talking about the game itself, Lauer asked Obama about the more serious headlines of the day: The U.S. economy and Iranian posturing in the Middle East.

During 2009′s Super Bowl interview, also conducted by Lauer, the president said that if the Troubled Asset Relief Program’s goals didn’t come to fruition within three years his presidency could be a “one-term proposition.”

On Sunday, he said recent positive economic numbers earned him the possibility of re-election.

“I deserve a second term,” Obama said.  “But we’re not done.”

In December, 200,000 private sector jobs were added and the unemployment rate of 8.5 percent was the lowest since 2009.  According to the Department of Labor, a total 1.6 million jobs were added in 2011, up from 2010′s total of 940,000.

Those figures do not count the estimated 1.2 million Americans who dropped out of the labor force for lack of jobs, however.

“We’re not finished,” Obama said. “And we’ve got to not only boost up American manufacturing, so that not just the auto industry, but all American manufacturing is building again, and selling overseas.”

The president also reaffirmed his call for increased American energy production, both from oil and clean alternatives. His critics have called such comments simply talk: his actions, they say -- like foot dragging on off-shore oil drilling permits and nixing the Keystone oil pipeline -- show Obama's policies contradict his soundbites.

On the subject of Iran, Obama told Lauer he believed Israel hadn’t yet decided how to handle the increased tension with Tehran over its nuclear weapons program. However, he said the dialogue between Washington and Tel Aviv would ensure no surprises.

“We have closer military and intelligence consultation between our two countries than we ever have,” he said.  “And my number one priority continues to be the security of the United States, but also the security of Israel.”

Questioned over suggestions that Iran could retaliate by striking inside the United States, the president said he didn’t see any evidence Tehran had the capability, and that while the administration’s goal was to handle the Middle East state diplomatically, nothing was off the table.

“I’ve been very clear that we’re going to do everything we can to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and creating an arms race, a nuclear arms race, in a volatile region,” Obama said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rick Santorum Mixes Football and Faith on the Campaign Trail

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.) -- Rick Santorum began a serious testimonial of his belief in God on a lighter note at an evangelical megachurch saying he really doesn’t have a dog in the hunt when it comes to Sunday’s Super Bowl.

“I’m from Pittsburgh, I’m a Steelers fan, sorry,” Santorum said at the beginning of a question and answer session with the church’s pastor Troy Dobbs. “So I don’t really care. I do find it hard to root for Tom Brady, that’s all I have to say.”

The answer got cheers and laughs from the large audience of about 3,500 congregants at Grace Church, in Eden Prairie, Minn., located about 30 minutes outside Minneapolis.

The pastor quickly replied, “Go Vikings, right?,” referring to the local Minnesota Vikings who are not playing in the big game.

The New York Giants face off against the New England Patriots in an East Coast showdown. The last time they faced off was during the last primary cycle in 2008.

After that, the forum quickly moved to the serious when the pastor asked him what Jesus Christ means to him.

Santorum told the audience when he first came to the United States Senate he became involved in bible study and before he came to Congress he wasn’t the religious man he is now.

He called Jesus Christ his “savior, he’s my guide, he’s my role model. He’s my teacher.”

“He hasn’t always and I admit this freely,” Santorum said. “He was not always my friend and my savior and the center of my life, but it was through my marriage with my wife who is an amazing woman…and when I came to the United States Senate, Christ became the center of my life.”

He said it’s why he’s currently on the “journey” he is on, including running for president.

The former Pennsylvania senator said “prayer has an effect” on the men and women working on Capitol Hill.

“There are people who do in a sense mission work on Capitol Hill and His presence is very much there,” Santorum said. “There are people there who fall onto their needs and ask for His guidance…and you are lifting them up.”

The last question the pastor asked him was how the congregation could pray for him.

Santorum related it back to football by giving a sports and warrior analogy.

“When you are out in the arena…when you are out there fighting…you get hit and yeah you hit back, you take your swings and it’s all expected, everything that comes at you. Even things you think are unfair. You are in the arena, it happens,” Santorum said before answering that it’s the families of the candidates that really need to be prayed for, on both sides of the aisle.

“It’s the spectators, it’s the folks that watch that love you they get hit too,” Santorum said to shouts of 'Amen.“And they don’ t have the armor, they don’t have the people praying for them and that’s what hurts so I ask you not just for me, but for all those in public life in this rather tough and messy world we live in, pray for those who are the loved ones of the people in the arena, pray for my wife and the wives, the children, the loved ones of those out there.”

It was then that the pastor asked the packed church to pray for Santorum and his family. The crowd of thousands rose to their feet, reached out their hands and began to pray.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Super Bowl at the White House: A Family Affair in 2012

Annie Leibovitz/Official White House Photo(WASHINGTON) -- There won’t be a flashy Super Bowl party at the White House this year.

After three consecutive years of playing host to dozens of members of Congress, cabinet secretaries and Hollywood stars to watch the big game, President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters, Sasha and Malia, have decided to go low-key.

They plan to “watch the Super Bowl together as a family in their home,” a White House official told ABC News of the Obamas. No further explanation was given.

The While House Super Bowl bash had become a tradition, with the event doubling as something of a reward for members of the administration and their families, a chance to recognize the service of military veterans and their families, and encourage goodwill between members of Congress from both sides of the aisle.

Some celebrities have also been known to attend, including actress and recording artist Jennifer Lopez and husband Marc Anthony in 2011.

But the burdens of entertaining for the Sunday evening football championship—which reportedly weighed on the president and first lady early on—appear to have finally led the Obamas to opt for what they say they love best: quality time alone.

“We’ll probably watch it at home. It’ll probably be a quiet Super Bowl this year,” Michelle Obama told Rachael Ray of the family’s plans in a recent interview on Ray’s TV show.

The first lady reportedly questioned the lengthy guest list of the grand Super Bowl party planned in early 2009, according to the New York Times’ Jodi Kantor in her book, The Obamas. And the president, Kantor writes, was more interested in the game than his political guests.

“‘He is not someone who is going to hold a Super Bowl party and spend the time talking, greeting, delivering messages, working,’ an aide observed,” Kantor wrote.

Some White House aides, according to Kantor, even questioned whether it was a mistake to start the tradition in the first place.

“At least one of the party planners wondered if they should have kept the gathering entirely private—Barack Obama had only so much patience for official entertaining, people would expect a similar Super Bowl party the next year and the next year, and, once an event migrated from a private event to a political one, it was hard to take back,” Kantor wrote.

But take it back they did.

Michelle Obama told Ray that the family will likely watch the game over a plate of nachos and a side of guacamole, favorite Super Bowl snacks.

As for who the first family may be rooting for, President Obama told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer that he “can’t call it” because he risks getting into trouble.

“When the [Chicago] Bears are not involved, I can’t make predictions because I will get into trouble,” Obama said last month, referring to his favorite hometown football team.

“But both are great teams,” he said of the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. “[The Patriots' Tom] Brady [is] obviously one of the best quarterbacks we’ve ever seen. [Giants quarterback] Eli Manning [is] playing as well as he’s ever played, and it’s going to be a fun Super Bowl.”

Obama won’t remain out of the spotlight entirely on Sunday, however. He’s sitting down for a pre-game chat with NBC’s Matt Lauer, continuing a practice of giving an interview to the game’s hosting network in each of past three years.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Super Bowl Party at the White House, Including J-Lo, Republicans

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The president this weekend will host his annual Super Bowl party at the White House to watch the Green Bay Packers take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.   But among the usual guests, including members of Congress, cabinet members and White House staff are Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, the First Lady’s Office confirmed Thursday.

Some members of Congress and their families, most of whom have a particular allegiance to their home state’s team, were also invited.

Those members of Congress who have so far RSVP-ed are the senators from Pennsylvania -- Republican Sen. Pat Toomey and Democrat Sen. Bob Casey. Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wisc., and State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Texas, from Dallas will also attend.

Members of the president’s cabinet, including Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will also watch the game at the White House.

White House staff will also attend the party that will be in the state floor of the White House.

The president, a Chicago Bears fan, has said that he remains neutral on who to root for during Sunday’s game.

“Now that the Bears have lost, I've got to stay neutral,” Obama told YouTube’s head of news and politics, Steve Grove, last week. Obama added, “And may the best team win.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio