Clint Eastwood’s controversial Super Bowl ad for Chrysler was not an endorsement of anyone, the actor, director and Academy Award winner told CNBC Thursday.
“The average man and woman on the street took it exactly for what it was. And it’s the core message for America. It’s halfway through the recession. Let’s work our way out of it,” he said. “It doesn’t mean anybody’s endorsing anyone or any particular product or particular philosophy.”
The two-minute “Halftime in America” ad came under fire from conservative critics who said it echoed one of the central themes of President Obama’s re-election bid.
In the commercial, Eastwood pointed to Detroit’s resurgence since the taxpayer-funded restructuring of both Chrysler Group and General Motors .
“Detroit’s showing us it can be done,” the Academy Award-winner said in the ad. “And, what’s true about them is true about all of us.”
Eastwood told CNBC he was disappointed that the TV spot was misunderstood.
“I’m surprised at the people who are supposed to be intelligent have interpreted it otherwise,“ he said.
- Reuters contributed to this report.
Watch the full interview with Clint Eastwood Friday on “Squawk Box” starting at 6 a.m. ET.