Obama: No offense taken at Eastwood speech
September 2nd, 2012
09:37 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama: No offense taken at Eastwood speech

(CNN) – President Barack Obama said in an interview published Sunday he took no offense at Clint Eastwood's prime-time address at the Republican National Convention, in which the legendary actor and director posed questions to an empty chair, which he said represented the Democratic incumbent.

"One thing about being president or running for president - if you're easily offended, you should probably choose another profession," Obama told USA Today.

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Eastwood's speech came the same night Mitt Romney accepted the Republican presidential nomination in Tampa, Florida. The sprawling, off-the-cuff address drew criticism from some, who said Eastwood's unorthodox remarks overshadowed Romney. The Republican nominee's advisers wrote off the criticism, saying the crowd found Eastwood's remarks funny.

"He's a great messenger. The guy is an American treasure," Romney senior strategist Stuart Stevens said.

Obama agreed with that sentiment in the USA Today interview, calling Eastwood "a great actor, and an even better director."

"I think the last few movies that he's made have been terrific," the president added.

That appreciation, however, doesn't mean Democrats will try to mimic Eastwood's performance at their own confab, slated to begin in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday.

"I think we'll be playing this pretty straight," Obama said.

soundoff (391 Responses)
  1. Anon

    He probably laughed at what a joke the RNC became that moment.

    September 2, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. Simon Eze Ejiofor

    Whatever, these are politicians: win some, lose some.

    September 2, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  3. Hoppergrass

    Obama's a good sport and knows his Shakespeare.

    September 2, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  4. beevee

    This just shows the gentlmanly attitude of the president. That said you can tolerate the offending remarks only to a certain extent; after that it is time to move to the offense if one wants to win. Otherwise even the nobleminded can come across as weak.

    September 2, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  5. trex

    ..........Why would Obama come out with this???????????...........Because................this EYE ROLLING segment by the NEW ..."Ramblin' Man"...............will be LAMPOONED REPEATEDLY this week.......................uhhhh, for the Ttards, that means "Mr Sulu" is going to make FUN of that whole CHAIR thing..............Its gonna be GREAT.....!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 2, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  6. Tony

    Obama should send Eastwood a thank you note. People remember the empty chair more than Romney's speech. Much to Romney's chagrin, he was upstaged by the empty chair.

    September 2, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. Tony in Maine

    Oh noooo. He's become Charlton Heston doing Moses. Or maybe a step up to God.

    Clint's little attempt at improv reminded me that actors, like athletes, should retire before they become pitiable.

    September 2, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. nolimits3333

    When I think of the Republican Party, I think of an old man talking to an empty chair.

    September 2, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. chuck

    Between Eastwood and Paul Ryan the RNC lost major credibility that night.

    September 2, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  10. Babyboomer

    He didn't have to be offended. I was offended enough for President Obama and not just by Eastwood. That was by far the most negative convention I've ever seen.

    September 2, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  11. gg

    That's why I love the PRESIDENT.

    September 2, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  12. Seattle11

    Mr Eastwood looked delusional on that stage. I sure hate to see him in that light as I always loved his movies.

    September 2, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. livingston

    Are they sure that Clint Eastwood wasn't working undercover for the Democrats? Lets face facts – everyone remembers Eastwood,s act but no one remembers what Romney said. They could have cut Romney's acceptance speech and no one would have noticed.

    September 2, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  14. bb

    It was obviously clear by Eastwood's disheveled appearance, unkempt hair, constantly loosing his train of thought, and difficulty finding the right words to verbally express himself, he was not in full control of his faculties. The Romney campaign took advantage and used him to do their dirty work. They put an aging man on stage to completely humiliate himself while taking cheap shots at the president.

    President Obama is such a fine gentleman to look pass this incident and not take offense.

    Obama/Biden 2012!

    September 2, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. Norma Vessels

    I just hope the Democratic Convention speakers will show more decorum, more ability to abstain from throwing dirt at Mitt Romney and Ron Paul ... all they have to do is let us do that for them! :-)

    September 2, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  16. JamesPMorrison

    He's so full of rage, that Obama.

    September 2, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  17. SunnyDayNM

    I couldn't figure out the Clint Eastwood ramble either...until I saw a trailer from his new movie coming out (Trouble with the Curve) and then I just decided that he was "promoting" his character from the movie...check out the trailer...sounds just like what Clint sounded like at RNC...

    September 2, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  18. madrep1

    Liar....Obama's skin is like paper thin. Do some research. The WH is dysfunctional and he has a very poor record. All his bills were passed the first 2 years in office and none of them worked. One and Done. See you Libs in November. 2010 repeat. Start your name calling now cause that's all you got. This dude is a hollow suit.

    September 2, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  19. spenteco

    President Obama is the man . The President has taken Eastwood's famous line "make my day" to a new high when he made the proposition to the Special Forces and they responded big time sending Bin Laden to hell. That operation was no small potatoes mission. It ended the fanatic terrorists' feeling of invincibility and proved to the world that the U.S.will not rest until we deliver justice to every terrorist that we can get our hands on. And we have a long reach. Shrub could have perhaps gotten the job done, but he and Cheney outsourced the job and were too occupied with profiteering. It is totally preposterous that Pres. Obama is anywhere close to weak on foreign policy. He is leading without the chest thumping "mission accomplished" banners. The President is hugely popular around the world and has restored respect and faith in our country's ability to get the job done. If he did not have to put up with what is basically a treasonous bunch of lil GOPers in the Congress there is literally no telling the progress we would be enjoying. The House of Representatives is disgraceful. There is just nothing constructive or honorable about those weasels that pretend to be leaders. They are a backwards sorry lot, interested in self promotion and living on the dole.

    September 2, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  20. Orso

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how a President should speak about their oponents.

    Obama 2012!

    September 2, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  21. bcrunner

    I stayed up to watch SNL but they had a rerun. DARN!! The president has a lot of class. What is most amazing to me is that when the major networks (non-cable) began to cover the convention, this is what they saw... Clint making a fool out of himself, the Republican party and Romney... It's possible they could win with all the money the Koch brothers and the superpacs are going to throw at Obama, but now they will have to spend even more....

    September 2, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. Nietodarwin

    Very silly of the GOP to put Clint up there. They are already making a WAR ON WOMEN, and his character in High Plains Drifter committed "forcible rape in broad daylight" (that's a direct quote from HER character in the movie.)
    The modern GOP is just plain stupid. Remember IKE, built roads, proud SUPPORTER of PLANNED PARENTHOOD.
    I just feel sorry for "normal" Republicans, who are TOO DISGUSTED to vote for their own party after what it has become, taken over by the Talibangelicals

    September 2, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  23. DocHollywood

    To paraphrase a part of an article (satire) by Andy Borowitz......"a new poll shows Mitt Romney trailing badly to an empty chair"...LMAO

    September 2, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  24. mikrik13

    Even though his remarks were inaccurate, EASTWOOD ENTERTAINED. That's what he does best.

    September 2, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. GaryB

    Sadly, Eastwood's speech reminded me of some of Charlton Heston's speeches right before they went public with his Alzheimers.

    September 2, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
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