Jeep restores Springsteen ad after feds admit he was under legal limit
Jeep restored the Bruce Springsteen Super Bowl commercial hours after drunk-driving charges were dismissed on Wednesday.
The two-minute commercial called "The Middle" features Springsteen driving his own Jeep in Lebanon, Nebraska, the geographic center of the lower 48 states, with a message of unifying the country.
After word of his arrest at the Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook on drunk driving and reckless driving charges on Nov. 14 became public, Jeep said it was pausing the commercial until "the actual facts can be established."
Springsteen appeared in federal court virtually on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to the charge of consuming alcohol in a closed area, and will have to pay $540 to satisfy the court. Drunk driving and reckless driving charges were dropped and Jeep restored the spot to its YouTube page.
Federal prosecutors admitted that the rocker's blood-alcohol level was so low that it didn't warrant the charges.
According to a probable cause document written by park police at the time of the incident, Springsteen told a park officer he had done two shots in the previous 20 minutes but wouldn’t take a preliminary breath test before he was arrested. U.S. Magistrate Anthony Mautone said Wednesday that the preliminary test is not required, and is not admissible in court.
When he took a breath test at the park’s ranger station, Springsteen's blood-alcohol came back .02, a quarter of the legal limit in New Jersey, prosecutors said Wednesday.
"Now that the matter has been resolved, we are unpausing the film," Jeep wrote in a statement. The company never commented on the charges and did not say if it was aware of the charges when the deal for the commercial was made.
Springsteen, who made no secret of his dislike of President Donald Trump and said in an interview with CBS' Gayle King that he didn't have a "grasp of the deep meaning of what it means to be an American" delivered a veiled political message in the commercial.
“It’s no secret: The middle has been a hard place to get to lately, between red and blue; between servant and citizen; between our freedom and our fear,” Springsteen said in the commercial. “We just have to remember the very soil we stand on is common ground,” he says.
“There’s hope on the road up ahead. To the ReUnited States of America,” reads the message on the screen.
Trump in turn said during a rally in 2019 that he didn't need to bring in names like Springsteen, Beyonce and Jay Z. to play concerts for him like Hillary Clinton did during their presidential race in 2016.
"I didn’t need Beyonce and Jay Z, and I didn’t need little Bruce Springsteen and all of these people." Trump said. "They’d get all these people. They’d come in because she couldn’t get a crowd. They’d come in, they’d sing. They got Bruce Springsteen. OK? He’d do about two songs and leave. What happens is, they leave, and then everyone leaves with them, and she’s still speaking in front of the same lousy crowd. It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ