Politics pit Ron Howard against brother Clint


Brothers Ron and Clint Howard may have lots in common: same parents, Hollywood careers that have each stretched for five decades and working together in movies.

Politics, though, are another matter.

Clint has released a YouTube video critical of President Barack Obama, especially his tax policies. But brother Ron, you'll recall, made quite a splash with a FunnyOrDie.com video where he reprised his two most famous TV roles and urged viewers to vote for Obama.

(Ron, who directed the upcoming Vince Vaughn flick "The Dilemma," is currently under fire for a gay slur that was included in the film trailer. Howard has not commented on the matter.)

Clint's video has him playing a Democrat seeking re-election, sitting in a brainstorm meeting figuring out how to spin higher taxes and unemployment as positive things.

"The Obama tax hikes will cost my constituents billions in new taxes over the next decade," Clint tells his campaign staffers. "We've got to put some lipstick on this pig."

The staffers shout out ways to make people without jobs feel better about themselves: "Unemployed people -- they have more time to vote!"

While Clint hasn't been front and center with his political opinions that run opposite of his bother's, he also hasn't kept them secret. On Dennis Miller's radio show, for example, he said he leans right, even though Miller cautioned him about getting overly political in such a public forum.

"I've been in the movie business since 1961," he told Miller. "I've made some dough, I've had a nice career, I really don't care. I'm a conservative-minded guy."

Clint's new video is a stark contrast to the one his brother made two years ago just prior to the presidential election. That one co-stars Andy Griffith and Henry Winkler.

Playing 8-year-old Opie from "The Andy Griffith Show," Ron says to Griffith, playing Sheriff Taylor, "When I'm grown up, I sure would like to vote for somebody as good as Mr. Obama."

Then as Richie Cunningham from "Happy Days," Winkler as Fonzie tries to set him up for a date with Sarah Palin (without using her name), until Richie informs Fonzie that Palin isn't "loose," as he has heard, but that she "shoots moose."

"We haven't done those characters in decades," Ron says near the end of the video, "but the three of us agree that with Barack Obama, we Americans have a rare opportunity to elect an extraordinary president."

While Clint's video is obviously out there for everyone to see -- and it's getting some nice traction -- brother Ron's video has been taken off the FunnyOrDie Web site and they seem rather vigilant about preventing people from seeing it at other sites, as well.

Nevertheless, YouTube users are pretty vigilant themselves, and as fast as the video is removed, another replaces it.

Here's a link, but don't blame us when it goes dead.
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