Actor Sean Astin (45) playing Rudy Ruettiger in the 1993 film "Rudy"
Actor Sean Astin (45) playing Rudy Ruettiger in the 1993 film "Rudy"

‘Rudy’ gives voters pep talk in Iowa City


By Mitch McAndrew |

Sean Astin

Sean Astin

Early voting started in swing state Iowa Thursday, and who better to rally University of Iowa students to the polls than Rudy himself.

Actor Sean Astin appeared at The Java House in downtown Iowa City Thursday afternoon to stump for Hillary Clinton as part of a two day tour across the Hawkeye state.

Astin said he serves as a “character reference” for the Democratic presidential hopeful.

“So much is said about her that doesn’t capture her essence,” Astin told The Daily Iowan. 
RELATED: Hillary Clinton joins Iowans on first day of early voting 

On Thursday, he appeared with Clinton at her Des Moines rally and made stops in Nevada, Grinnell, and Clinton to urge voters to hit the polls early for the Democrats. He is scheduled to visit Dubuque, Decorah, Waverly, and Cedar Falls on Friday.

In a roughly 15 minute speech, the Lord of the Rings and The Goonies star focused on college affordability and campaign finance, calling the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision “the primary culprit of a rigged system.”

He also implored the audience to refrain from protest voting.

“A third party protest vote will put [Trump] that much closer to standing on the Capitol steps on January 20,” he said.

Astin quickly made his Iowa connection, saying that this was the first time he had been back to the Hawkeye state since shooting The Final Season, filmed in Norway.

Immediately following his speech to a room packed with UI students and Iowa City residents, Astin led the group out the front doors of The Java House to the polling place at the Iowa City Public Library as the crowd chanted “Rudy, Rudy, Rudy!”


“Can I take a quick picture with you?” one woman asked.

“No, not until you vote!” Astin replied.

Follow the Initiative editor Mitch McAndrew (@MitchieMac) and the Ethics and Politics Initiative (@DIpolitics) for updates on the 2016 race from swing state Iowa.