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CLINT EASTWOOD BACKS ROMNEY

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Sun Valley, Idaho (CNN) - It could have been a scene from one of his films, but fortunately for Mitt Romney, it was no act when Clint Eastwood endorsed him Friday night.

At a fundraiser in the Idaho resort town of Sun Valley, where Eastwood owns a home, Romney said the legendary actor and director "just made my day."

But Eastwood showed up at the Sun Valley resort as a citizen concerned about the direction of the country, telling reporters beforehand he was backing the Republican presidential candidate "because I think the country needs a boost somewhere."


He later told hundreds at the outdoor reception that Romney was "going to restore, hopefully, a decent tax system that we need badly...so that there's a fairness and people are not pitted against one another as to who's paying taxes and who isn't."

The 82-year-old also weighed in on the controversy involving U.S. Olympians, depending on their income bracket, getting taxed on their medals.

"[W]e don't want anybody taking away the Olympic medals tax-wise from the Olympic athletes. I mean it's kind of embarrassing," Eastwood said. "Here we are, trillions of dollars in debt, and here the government's talking about getting a couple nickels, in their language."

Romney introduced Eastwood to more than 200 people, "There's a guy here from the world of acting who has pursued his dreams in a very unusual way. He stood up to the industry and sort of did it his own way."

Eastwood learned about Romney when he was filming Mystic River in Massachusetts.

"And at that time Gov. Romney was running for governor and I kept seeing him appear on television all the time and I said 'God this guy, he's too handsome to be governor, but he does look like he could be president," he said as the audience laughed. "And as the years have gone by, I begin to think even more so about that."

Eastwood managed to keep his endorsement private until he showed up at the fundraiser, which helped raise more than $2 million for the Victory Fund, a joint effort between the Romney campaign and the RNC.

He arrived in sunglasses, gray sneakers, tie and blazer along with his signature dry sense of humor, joking with reporters when asked why he decided to endorse Romney. "I haven't endorsed the governor...Oh yeah, no I just did."

Before this TV producer started to record our brief exchange, Eastwood warned that filming him would steal his soul.

Reuters reporter Sam Youngman made a reference to a Super Bowl ad about Detroit starring Eastwood, which at the time stirred speculation he might be supporting President Barack Obama.

"Is this your second act of half time in America endorsing Romney," asked Youngman, to which Eastwood replied, "Maybe."


CNN

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