Former Massachusetts Gov. and potential 2012 White House contender Mitt Romney (R) took a cue Wednesday from Sylvester Stallone when he tweeted: "Stallone is right. US does apologize too much."
The quote referred to a comment the veteran film star made Aug. 19 to Bill O'Reilly while promoting his new film "The Expendables" in an appearance on Fox News.
O'Reilly opened the segment by referring to a Los Angeles Times review arguing the film taps a vein of "apple-pie patriotism ... [that is already] behind the success of a cable news network," taken to mean Fox.
Stallone denied the film, which he directed, has any intended subtext at all.
"Some people read [into it] that I was maybe putting the focal point on the American
intrusion into other countries. You know, 'We tend to overstep our boundaries.' I don't believe that at all."
America apologizes too much," he added quickly, as O'Reilly began to reply.
When O'Reilly jokingly asked whether Stallone had a "secret agenda" in making the movie, Stallone laughed.
"I wish I was that clever. It's pretty simple — pretty straightforward. 'You're bad, you gotta go.' "
He went on: "It's like reading into some kind of metaphor, or some kind of symbolism,
or some kind of hidden message … no, there's nothing jingoistic. It's
just guys going in there, blowing things up and having a good old time."
The remark that "America apologizes too much" has gained attention since last week, especially from the conservative media, where it went viral.
"Hope he [Stallone] doesn't get in trouble with Hollywood friends," Romney added in his tweet.
"The Expendables" was No. 1 at the box office last weekend, grossing $16.5 million for a total of about $65 million in earnings so far.