FactCheck Social Media

No, Clint Eastwood didn’t mark his ‘twilight years’ with a Biden attack

2020-10-30 15:14:28

The Statement

A social media post claims to bear a message from actor and director Clint Eastwood as he starts “preparing to say goodbye”, in which the Hollywood star purportedly blasts Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Beginning with the words “my twilight years at 90”, the October 25 post goes on to set out Eastwood’s professed desire to express his “heartfelt beliefs and guiding principles” before he dies.

The post then attacks Mr Biden, saying: “Just in case I’m gone tomorrow, please know this: I voted against, Biden, that incompetent, lying, flip-flopping, insincere, double-talking, radical socialist, terrorist excusing, bleeding heart, narcissistic, scientific and economic moron, that spent eight years in the White House trying to destroy our wonderful country and turn it into Muslim loving, socialist crap hole like he came from and I don’t mean Hawaii!”

One version of the message was posted by several New Zealand-based Facebook users and had attracted more than 200 shares and 50 interactions at the time of writing. Text examples of the same message have also been widely shared in the lead-up to the 2020 US presidential election.

Clint Eastwood Facebook post
 A purported political message from actor Clint Eastwood reflecting in his “twilight years”. 

The Analysis

The message is one of several sets of quotes falsely attributed to the Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood, who has publicly supported conservative US politicians in the past.

The fake quotes in the post have been circulating online for more than six years and were originally worded to attack then-president Barack Obama.

Despite his support for previous Republican leaders, Eastwood has made no public comments endorsing either President Donald Trump or Mr Biden in the current election campaign.

The “preparing to say goodbye” message from Eastwood targeting Mr Obama reportedly dates back to 2013 and has been included on multiple websites, such as here, here and here.

In March 2014, Snopes debunked the alleged Eastwood letter, which it traced to now-dead conservative message board links from late the previous year.

While earlier versions of the post referred to Mr Obama by name, the current iteration retains the reference to a “Muslim loving, socialist crap hole … and I don’t mean Hawaii” despite the message now taking aim at Mr Biden. Mr Obama was born in Hawaii, while Mr Biden was born in Pennsylvania.

A spokeswoman for the actor told AAP FactCheck via email that the quote was falsely attributed to Eastwood, adding that he had endorsed neither Mr Trump nor Mr Biden. AAP FactCheck has debunked previous quotes in favour of Mr Trump falsely attributed to the actor during the 2020 presidential campaign.

In the past, Eastwood has supported Republican candidates, including an infamous appearance at the 2012 Republican National Convention where he endorsed presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

During the convention, Eastwood addressed an empty chair representing the absent president Barack Obama – a speech he later said he regretted.

Eastwood also expressed cautious support for Mr Trump in the lead-up to the 2016 election, telling Esquire magazine he would “have to go for” the Republican candidate over Democrat Hillary Clinton but added it was “a tough one” because “there’s been just too much funny business on both sides of the aisle”.

But in February of this year, during the Democratic presidential primary contests, he expressed support for candidate Mike Bloomberg in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

He also expressed distaste for Mr Trump “tweeting and calling people names”, saying he wished the president would act in a “more genteel way” – statements at adds with the acerbic language used in the Facebook post.

Similar posts have recently been debunked here and here.

Clint Eastwood
 Clint Eastwood has supported Republican candidates – but he hasn’t spoken out against Joe Biden. 

The Verdict

There is no evidence that Clint Eastwood wrote the post’s message in either its present form attacking Joe Biden or a previous iteration targeting then-president Barack Obama. Eastwood’s representative said the quote was false and the actor hadn’t endorsed either the Democrat or Republican presidential candidates.

False – Content that has no basis in fact.

* Updated: 30/10/2020 16:15 AEDT: Seventh par of analysis amended to include direct response from Eastwood’s representative.

* AAP FactCheck is accredited by the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network, which promotes best practice through a stringent and transparent Code of Principles. https://aap.com.au/