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 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 today 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."
It's a sentiment Gingrich might find personally appealing right now. He has taken hits this campaign season and is probably hoping his campaign can mount some sort of comeback in the second half of the primary season.
Gingrich has been the subject of more negative ads than other candidates, particularly in Iowa, where he saw momentum in December stop cold. After winning the South Carolina primary in January, he has fallen in opinion polls and placed third in the Colorado caucus and fourth in the Minnesota Caucus Tuesday.
Gingrich is now focusing his efforts on Ohio, with its 66 delegates, even though Republicans in the state don't cast primary votes until Super Tuesday March 6.