George H.W. Bush briefly mulled Clint Eastwood 
as his vice president

“Go ahead. Make my [Election] Day.” 

A just-released batch of audio interviews reveals that former President George H.W. Bush at one point considered tough-talking Hollywood actor Clint Eastwood as a potential running mate.

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Tapes full of hundreds of hours of chats with officials from the Bush administration were released on Friday by the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and the Bush Presidential Library Foundation.

The “Dirty Harry” star, now 81, was the mayor of Carmel, Calif., in 1988 when Bush was running for president against Democrat Michael Dukakis. 

Former Bush campaign chairman James Baker is heard on the tapes saying the Republican was facing an 18-point deficit, “When we were way behind. Honestly, [Eastwood] was suggested in not an altogether unserious — well, he was a mayor. He was a Republican mayor.”

Baker recalls that the idea to add Eastwood to the ticket as a vice-presidential candidate was “shot down pretty quick.” Bush ultimately decided on then-Indiana Sen. Dan Quayle as his running mate.



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