Hollywood legend and Republican supporter Clint Eastwood told CNBC that Washington gridlock is sending the nation racing towards another contentious debt deadline.
"It's almost like they don't give a damn," he said, in a "Squawk Box" interview that aired Friday.
The Oscar-winning director who's also known for his tough-guy roles asked rhetorically, "If they don't give a damn, why did they expect anybody else to?"
With the deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" barely in the rearview mirror, President Barack Obama and Republican leaders are on the clock again, scrambling to compromise on a package to replace the already-postponed automatic government spending cuts due to kick-in next month.
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Eastwood described it as "very disappointing" that so little has been accomplished. "The election's over. We should be moving ahead. The leaders aren't stepping up," and he said, "I think they have to hear from the public out there. And maybe the public is a little lackadaisical."
He was thrust into the political spotlight of the 2012 presidential election — first with the "Halftime in America" Super Bowl commercial he did that year for Chrysler; and then over the summer at the Republican National Convention with the now infamous "empty chair" bit.
Addressing criticism from the right that the Chrysler ad seemed like an endorsement for President Obama, Eastwood said his only intention was to inspire. "If there's a momentum going — which everybody thought there might be at that particular time, at least in the auto industry — then let's keep it going."
He also dismissed the controversy surrounding the "invisible Obama" routine at the RNC. "Seemed odd at the time. But, you know, I'm an odd person," he laughed.
"One thing about getting into the senior status of life, like I am, you don't really care," he joked. "You just say what you say and then you get away with it."
—Follow Becky Quick on Twitter @BeckyQuickCNBC
—Matthew J. Belvedere on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC