Clint Eastwood is changing his tune from "Go ahead, make my day" to "Can't we all play nice?"
The "Dirty Harry" star appeared on CNBC on Friday to bemoan the lack of bipartisan effort in Washington, D.C., predicting that the nation will slide into a recession if the Democrats and Republicans don't put aside their differences.
Recalling the 2010 efforts of Republican Sen. Alan Simpson and White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles to introduce fiscal reform and reduce the budget, Eastwood complained that such reaching across the aisles is all too rare these days.
"It's almost like they don't give a damn. And if they don't give a damn, why do they expect anybody else to?" Eastwood wondered. "And obviously, people get complacent, and then things really go bad."
Eastwood, 82, suggested that the inflexibility plaguing Washington could ultimately push the country into financial ruin.
"There has to be room for [bipartisanism]," Eastwood said. "[You've got] the Republicans [in] the majority in the House of Congress, and Senate the majority is Democrats, and you've got the presidency. Somebody's got to give somewhere along the line. If they don't give, then it'll just be more of the same. Then we'll slip back into recession, which would be really worrisome this time."
Eastwood has been a baffling political presence for both Democrats and Republicans over the past year. During last year's Super Bowl, he narrated an ad for Chrysler, called "It's Halftime in America," that was criticized by some conservative factions as an endorsement of the auto-industry bailout. (Eastwood later clarified, in no uncertain terms, that he's not an Obama supporter.)
Later in the year, Eastwood gave a speech at the Republican National Convention, during which he berated an empty chair meant to symbolize Obama at length — a puzzling performance that gave birth to the brief internet sensation known as "Eastwooding."