By Peter Schroeder and Justin Sink - 08/30/12 06:58 PM EDT
TAMPA, Fla. — Actor Clint Eastwood will be the mystery speaker on the final night of the Republican National Convention, multiple media outlets are reporting.
The “Dirty Harry” film star and Oscar-winning director has endorsed Mitt Romney and did the same for Sen. John McCainJohn McCainOvernight Defense: Pentagon denies troops on Syrian front lines | Senators push for more Afghan visas McCain files B amendment to boost defense spending Senators push to authorize 4,000 more visas for Afghans MORE (R-Ariz.) when he was the party's nominee in 2008.
Eastwood was embroiled in a political controversy earlier this year when he appeared in a glossy Super Bowl ad for Chrysler — “Halftime in America” — that some interpreted as an endorsement of President Obama’s bailout of the auto industry.
“We all pulled together and now Motor City is fighting again,” Eastwood said in the ad.
The actor said the commercial was not intended to carry a political message.
Speculation first centered on Nancy Reagan, the wife of the late president, but turned to Eastwood after a report on Wednesday from Fox News.
The Romney campaign deflected persistent questions about the speaker during a conference call with reporters.
"If there was a mystery speaker, it wouldn't be a mystery anymore [if we talked about it]," Romney aide Russ Schriefer said.
Reporters continued to badger him about it, asking if the campaign would confirm that there was still a surprise guest on the schedule — they wouldn't — and why they were continuing with the ruse.
"It seems to be driving interest this way," Schriefer said.