Obama: No offense taken at Eastwood speech
September 2nd, 2012
09:37 AM ET
6 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. Big_D

    Sounds like the GOP should be concerned about the empty suit not the empty chair.

    September 2, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. Someone Special

    Brian you don't realize how much of a welfare state we all are on...how much do you think your medical bill REALLY is, You get to own a house with a tax break..the latter gets stay in government housing and will never experience the life you have...bottom line, your life is better than those on welfare why complain. Additionally most people DO work

    September 2, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. interested 48

    Once again, the President shows what a classy guy he is. We love you, Mr. President!

    September 2, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. Someone Special

    LMC I agree, that was more disrespectful and distasteful than anything...Clint should apologize for a subpar insulting presentation.

    September 2, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. Brian

    It was quite the routine...an empty chair, followed a few minutes later by an empty suit.

    Colbert said it well (holding up and counting on four fingers): "Here's the Republican plan for America, (1)We'll (2)tell (3) You (4) Later!

    September 2, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Kenny K


    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
    To you and yours, Obama is god or messiah. To us, he is the president of the USA with good intention for all people, whether democrats or republicans.

    September 2, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. portland native

    Mr. Eastwood expressed a deep love for America and appropriate concern for it's current path.

    A genuine Patriot. We need more.

    September 2, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. Kenny K


    What a doofus odamabama is. He thinks we're better off than 4 years ago? We're better off in jobs, the economy, taxes, doofus care?
    Think of what you can do for yourself and your country, not what your country can do for you. I am better off than for years ago; I started a business and it striving.

    September 2, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. valwayne

    Obama's minions have been launching a nasty and discriminatory ageist attack against Clint Eastwood. Of course Obama pretends he's above the fray, but he should call off his vicious attack dogs and their ageist rants. Its a tribute that they think Mr Eastwood was so effective that they need to try and paint him as senile, but Mr Eastwood is anything but, and the attacks are Nasty and shameful. Obama has failed and his Presidency has failed. Its that simple. As Americans go to the polls in Nov they should remember one Clint Eastwood line. “When someone doesn’t do the job you gotta let them go”!!!!

    September 2, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. Connie Edwards

    Clint Eastwood....movie star......7 children 5 different mothers, Is he Morman too? And who really cares what he had to say to an empty chair. I guess an empty chair is a good opponent to an empty mind.

    September 2, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. CedarRapids

    "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"

    Thus spake the result of republican education.

    September 2, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. RoadRunner, Albuquerque, NM

    President Obama should get on the line to Clint Eastwood and thank him profusely for his brilliant acting performance at the RNC. What Eastwood did, and right under the noses of the Republicans, was to aketch out a portrait of what they have become: an angry, old, rich white man ranting at a virtual roomful of empty chairs. Eastwood may be a rambling, off the mark speaker, but he is one brilliiant actor, and he certainly left his mark on the "empty chair" that has become the symbol of the Romney/Ryan duo.

    September 2, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. Big_D

    Biden was the only one that knew if we allowed Iraq to divide into three countries it would destabilize Iran. If you don't understand why, don't try to insult Biden.

    September 2, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. Nija

    For a few dollars more I could do better.

    September 2, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. Someone said.........

    Someone said that Pres Obama will debate an empty suit at the Dem-convention...more liklely Obama will appear the empty suit and echoing another one of his "Grandiose Speeches"...with just empty words........

    September 2, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. Big_D

    Republicans seem to have a mental bloc about where we were when Obama took office. It must be the coping mechanism that allows them to still be Republican after Bush. Even Clint forgot who started the Afghanistan war. They even forget we were losing 800,000 jobs a month December 2008, that is why they knock Obama for adding 200,000 a month, they cannot recall the results of GOP policies at all.

    September 2, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    REpublicans are always crying about the debt of this country and worried about other less fortunate Americans getting help. THe Repubs are only concerned that all the money will not go into their pocket. Mitt is only concerned about his pockets.

    September 2, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. Liz the First

    Big difference here between our president and RMoney, the president wannabe. i've never seen such a whiner in all my years of experiencing presidential campaigns. if RMoney can't handle having the truth told about him and legitimate questions asked of him about his experience and finances, how can we expect him to handle the pressure cooker that is the American presidency??? he'd probably crumble in a month.

    September 2, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. NC

    @Connie Edwards: Thank you. So much for republican family values. I wonder if Romney knows about Eastwood's baby Mama drama, lawsuits, abortion, etc. Romney aides only had to check an interview with 60 minutes Eastwood did about his children with so many different women which did not include marriage.

    September 2, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Think of what you can do for yourself and your country, not what your country can do for you. I am better off than for years ago; I started a business and it striving."

    As am I and mine. In 2007, my husband and I both lost our jobs, much of our 401Ks, much of his retirement pension future earnings, our health insurance, and much of the equity in our home. Since then, I've officially retired ... my husband is gainfully employed, albeit at a much lower income rate, his much reduced retirement pension kicked in (including his retirement health insurance), our home is still our home, and our 401K has improved. My daughter has gotten her degree, her husband has started his own business, and our grandchildren now have health insurance - all thanks to Obama policy making.

    Obviously not all improvement is due to Obama policies specifically, but he was greatly hindered by the GOP HELL NO antics and many are still suffering because of that. However, having lost almost everything in one year and bouncing back to a comfortable level, I'm reluctant to give the Republicans another spin at it. I really do want to keep what is left ... including my medicare and my social security benefits.

    September 2, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. tonyl

    How can anyone react to an old senile man making etch a sketch comments of an young President? He should have said
    "Go ahead make me a oatmeal fiber cereal and make my day". Old fart.

    September 2, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. Lib

    Clint eastwood needs to go home and watch over his wife with all those young boys in the band she has taken over. He is a pitiful old white man who sounded embarrassing.

    September 2, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. basky

    Re-purges are narrow minded. You cannot erase what that Bush man did to us, turning surplus to deficit. And yet the re-purges have the guts to Blame OBAMA!!

    September 2, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |

    Poor Clint, the rethuglicans must have been desperate to have their own "Hollywood type" on board. Clint sounded incoherent, a rambling idiot, and a tired old man. Oh bye the way, most of his movies stunk. Just like the GOP, Clint is old, tired and irrelevant. Make my day Clint and shut up. Obama 2012 Sorry all you right wing hate mongers, Obama WILL win!!!!!!

    September 2, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  25. Melvin Painter

    How could obama take offense when everything was true.

    September 2, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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