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. enuff

    It takes a man with a good sense of humor and self worth to not take himself so seriously to not be insulted by a stage show.

    September 2, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  2. Crom2112

    Props to Obama for taking a joke.

    September 2, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. DanW

    Clint was funny, but surprisingly crude for the very conservative audience at the convention. My guess is that he got away with it because few people understood Clint's line about Romney f***ing himself. What an embarrassment for the RNC.

    September 2, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. Obama2012

    For those GOPers who wants to "fire" Obama, they also should fire Congress for not doing a thing besides obstruct Obama for 4 years. Oh, I forgot, that's what they were elected for, to obstruct Obama and nothing else... I guess then they did a good job at it.

    September 2, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Naomi

    As usual, the republicans are running campaigns based on lies, division, fear and selfishness. They can't run against the real Obama so they are inventing a franken-Obama, a figment of their imagination. Case in point was Clint Eastwood's bizarre performance at the republican convention where he debated a make-believe Obama. How appropriate.

    September 2, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  6. jack johnson

    The Superbowl add for the auto industry out wieghed the skit Clint did at the repb. convention!

    September 2, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. brian

    All you democreats think obama is god look what hes done. here ill some it in one word biden what a joke. all you people need to get a job and stop living off goverment. i know y you dont mitt because hes going to stop welfair and you will have to work

    September 2, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. LMC

    Basically the Eastwood presentation was disrespectful to a sitting president. However Ryan's lies and half-truths were bad also. I hate lies.

    September 2, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Fact

    President Obama is a class act, who tirelessly continues to move US forward despite unreasonable resistance from political opponents.

    September 2, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. Dan in FL

    I think the President responded to Clint Eastwood in a manner that is worthy of his office.

    After reading some of the other posters here, let's get one thing straight: the stimulus package was not as effective as the President hoped it would be – he didn't "lie" about it. The stimulus was a combination of money for public projects as well as incentives and tax breaks for businesses. My company received tax benefits of over $200M in 2011 and expects to see $100M in savings for 2012. What did we do with the money? We bought back stock from our shareholders. We didn't hire anyone would wouldn't have hired otherwise – that's determined by business demand.

    So, when the Republicans say we need more tax breaks for business, be careful. Perhaps there's a need for targeted tax breaks for certain types of businesses, but broad business tax reductions are an inefficient way to stimulate the economy. It's also a sure-fire way to increase the public debt.

    September 2, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. Bill

    Eastwood performed as nothing more than King Romney's court jester to entertain the peasants in the electorate. Toss a few gold bezants in exchange for votes while plotting to run off with the castle treasure. A large percentage of our nation are illiterate, obese, and intellectually lazy citizens easily manipulated into voting against their our own interests. Open your eyes people and read 2 Cor. 11:13-15. Your government was created by men, corrupted by thieves, and perpetuated by liars... Don't believe the political charade.

    September 2, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  12. Big_D

    What is up with Clint's eyes? He looks weird. I hope he didn't sell his soul for Gran Torino.

    September 2, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    @BJ

    I'm still trying to figure out the tale she told about when her and Mitt first got married living in a basement apartment living off macaroni and tuna for dinner who she think believed that crock of cow manure, and thats saying it nicely
    ----------------------------------------------------–
    It's important to realize nothing that's put out to the conservative base needs to be truthful. Just like the slogan Romney uses on his bus – a complete distortion of the statement with no shame about dishonesty. Republicans are perfectly happy to accept the Fox News sound bites and repeat them as the truth – even after the fact-checkers have shown to be lies. It's the "new" Republican... where character is not required.

    September 2, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. Saywha?

    "One thing about being president or running for president – if you're easily offended, you should probably choose another profession,"

    NOW...he says that. Wonder how long that will last?

    September 2, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Saywha?

    Not offended. Still a fan. WOW!!! what a guy, huh?!

    September 2, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. Benedict Obama

    With typical arrogance, Obama thinks Eastwood's speech was directly intended for him.

    September 2, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Expat American

    Of course the President will take the high road and show decorum and class.
    The only people who ended up looking foolish are Clint Eastwood, and the drooling bigots and simpletons in the audience.
    Romney was also embarrassed because more people are talking about Eastwood’s poor attempt at improv than his equally poor speech!

    September 2, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  18. Kenneth

    "a great actor, and an even better director." That's exactly who Eastwood it..only an actor and should've just stayed that way. Keep his mouth shut and stop running your mouth like you know a thing or two about politics

    September 2, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  19. Nan

    Why can't actors be actors? I can't stand any of them as soon as I learn what they're politics are.

    September 2, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. Nan

    Correction: their

    September 2, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  21. Bleedingheart

    I've never understood people who do not like entertainers for their political views. I'm a proud Lib yet I love Eastwood, and Kelsey Grammer. John Wayne, and Bob Hope remain favorites years after their deaths. I do not care for Barbara Streisand singing or acting yet her politics mirror mine. Why let a persons politics keep you from enjoying their performances?

    September 2, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. Mike

    The DNC is full of traitors. We all know this. Their principles have never changed. There will always be traitors to America in their ranks because that is what they want to do; they want to destroy our country and remake it into a socialist utopia.

    September 2, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. Kenneth

    an empty chair could have stronger opinion than the entire Romney's campaign combined...Bible humpers an their delusional belief..."Insanity is believing your hallucinations are real...Religion is believing that other people's hallucinations are real."

    September 2, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. Someone Special

    I think your spot on pattianne which is why our political climate is getting worse and worse...whoever's president could perform heroic acts, save the economy; etc and there will still be detractors based purely on political ideaology.

    September 2, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. Big_D

    I hope the TV stations lost revenue for putting this garbage and hate on so many channels. I didn't watch a second.

    September 2, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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