At campaign stops across Iowa and Ohio this month Mitt Romney has been riling up crowds with his take on the pre-game chant from the fiction Texas football show “Friday Night Lights.”
“Clear eyes, full hearts and America can’t lose,” the GOP candidate has said on the stump.
But for “Friday Night Lights” writer and director Peter Berg, Romney’s adaptation of his rally cry isn’t inspiring. He is calling it plagiarism.
“I was not thrilled when I saw that you have plagiarized this expression to support your campaign,” Berg wrote in a letter to Romney first obtained by the Hollywood Reporter. “Your politics and your campaign are clearly not aligned with the themes we portrayed in our series.”
“The only relevant comparison that I see between your campaign and ‘Friday Night Lights’ is in the character of Buddy Garrity – who turned his back on American car manufacturers selling cars from Japan,” Berg wrote.
But Berg went on to wish Romney the best in his campaign, but aimed to make clear that neither he nor his show want to affiliated with it.
“We are grateful for your support of our beloved show,” Berg wrote, “But… please come up with your own campaign slogan.”
The “Clear eyes” quote is not only featured in Romney’s campaign speeches, but is prominently displayed on the cover photo of Romney’s Facebook page and hung on signs around his campaign events.
And while the man who coined the chant is no fan of Romney, the man who first wrote the story upon which the TV show is based is siding with Romney.
Buzz Bissinger wrote the nonfiction book “Friday Night Lights.” Berg’s fictional TV series is based off that nonfiction book. Bissinger penned a lengthy Op-Ed last week explaining why he was switching his support to Romney.
“The tipping point was last week’s debate in Denver,” Bissinger wrote in the Daily Beast Op-Ed. “Romney finally did what he should have done all along instead of his balky cha cha with the old white men of the conservative Republican wing: he acted as the moderate he is, for the first time running as himself, not against himself, embracing his record as governor of Massachusetts.”
Bissinger said he was a lifelong Democrat, but had lost faith in Obama.
“Four years ago, all Obama had to do was speak and everyone swooned,” the author wrote. “Romney has it. Our president no longer does.”