81-year-old Clint Eastwood tells the Envelope.com that he supports gay marriage, abortion rights and environmental protection, but has never voted for a Democrat for president. He started voting for GOP presidential contenders in 1952 with Dwight Eisenhower and was only tempted to break ranks only once in 1992 for Ross Perot: “I liked him. I guess because I like rebels.”
When it comes to the current crop of Republican presidential candidates, Eastwood says “I love (Herman) Cain’s story, He’s a guy who came from nowhere and did well, obviously against heavy odds. He’s a doer and a straight-talker, which I don’t see enough of from either party.”
He’s not as excited about Mitt Romney. When Eastwood was in Massachusetts in 2002, filming 'Mystic River,' Romney was running for governor there. “I saw a lot of him and you have to admit — he looks like a president. I mean, if you were casting a movie where you needed someone to play president, you’d definitely pick him.”
The only Democrat he can remember voting for is Gray Davis when he was elected governor of California in 1998. Yet Eastwood is also a big admirer of the current governor, Jerry Brown, and sees him as a kindred spirit, a free-thinking libertarian willing to take unpopular or unorthodox positions on key issues.
Eastwood says he contributed to Brown’s campaign to establish several charter schools in Oakland when Brown was mayor there, seeing them as an important example of new thinking on education.
“I’ve always been very liberal when it comes to people thinking for themselves,” said Eastwood. “But I’m a big hawk on cutting the deficit. I was against the stimulus thing too. We shouldn’t be bailing out the banks and car companies. If a CEO can’t figure out how to make his company profitable, then he shouldn’t be the CEO.”