TAMPA, Fla. — If you spent time at the Republican National Convention Monday or Tuesday, chances are you saw at least one movie star. “Midnight Cowboy” actor Jon Voight spent two consecutive days at the convention, boosting Mitt Romney and conservative ideals to anyone who would listen.
The 73-year-old actor, whose body of work also includes the National Treasure franchise and Deliverance, has been an outspoken Republican for years, but seemed especially intent this week on becoming a face of the conservative movement.
Voight told a cluster of reporters Tuesday morning that his reasons for being a Republican were basic.
“I want my grandchildren to have the pride in American and the freedom of America and the prosperity of America that I experienced,” he said. “I want my kids to have a job when they come out of college, where work pays off, where everybody can fulfill a dream, that’s what I want.”
Voight’s children happen to be the actors James Haven and Angelina Jolie, who are both around 40 and very successful. But Voight has six young grandchildren who might have been in his thoughts.
The secret to the kind of success Voight discussed was rooted in free markets and reduced government regulation, he said.
“It’s as simple as pie, as my mother used to say. What you have to do is get the engine of our economy working, small business. Get the regulations and all the cloud over, this smothering of small business, get it off it. It will take care of itself within the year,” he said.
Voight contributed $1,200 to John McCain’s presidential campaign but has not donated to Romney’s, according to the most recent Federal Election Commission records.
But Voight has talked positively about the aspiring Commander-in-Chief and told the Washington Post he considered himself a “cheerleader” for the Romney-Ryan team.