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. BinaryTooth

    Everyone, just like Obama, can't figure this out. How dare anyone in Hollywood stand up against our ruler. Obama was elected ruler and now you better submit to him. Especailly you Hillary supporters.

    Obama needs another 4 years of rule so he can get the job done.

    September 2, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. geoff lucas

    Of course we're better off than 4 years ago – who could possibly argue that! The country, and the world, came within a whisper of falling off the cliff after 8 years of Bush and GOP bad choices, errors and omissions. Unbelievable that Romney even has a chance this time around, but sadly that only speaks to the apathy and ignorance of about 30% of the US electorate.

    September 2, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. Dave

    I will not be returning the keys to the country back into Republican hands this election cycle... interesting how W, and none of his cronies were at the convention... the last time this party held power... yet, they would prefer everyone forgets that. I won't forget... though... I'M the one accussed of drinking kool aid? Really? WORST terrorist attack in American History, Hurricane Katrina, TWO failed wars, 100, 000 dead Iraqis, 6000 dead American Soldiers, 30,000 vets horribly scared or injured, and the WORST economic melt down since the great depression, and somehow, we are supose to have recovered from that in just 3 years. Repubs have no memory and ADD.

    September 2, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. Jose Arribas

    Always a class act, which is more than you can say about Mittens or Paul LiaRyan.

    September 2, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. Squigman

    Who can take offence, when the joke was actually speaking. Trying to be funny.

    September 2, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  6. Tam

    A friend of mine thinks that Eastwood and his performance were the Democrats' Fifth Column.

    September 2, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. Guest

    Still after four years trying to figure what qualifies Obama for president, haven't found a reasonable answer...prior to 2008 he accomplished absolutely nothing, that cannot be refuted, it's fact, he did nothing as a state senator nor as a US Senator...yet, his followers have succombed to his rants...totaly lost without a teleprompter...scary...off point, too bad Tony Blair cannot get involved as a candidate, or clone Margaret Thatcher...on point again, we don't need 4 more years of inept incompetence...

    September 2, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. Observer91

    Everybody needs to pay attention to what the president said and how he said it. It shows how much integrity, maturity and professionalism President Obama has. Even some of you conservatives can understand that, and surely you liberals will understand. The president is approaching this whole Republican Convention with a lot of appropriate dialogue and terminology which shows how kindred and objective he can be, no matter what anyone will say about what he says. Mitt Romney doesn't even espouse this, and that is just one reason why he shouldn't be in the white house.

    September 2, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. horsehitcher

    Why do some people make such a fuss over actors and actresses and their roles? Eastwood is not "Dirty Harry" just as John Wayne was any of the persona of the people he portrayed. John Wayne was a draft dodger, was never a Marine, a pilot or a cowboy and Eastwood never used the term "make my day" in real life. Maybe they are wanabees but never a "Green beret" or even any thing but an actor. Tough guys? No! Audie Murphy was a real hero and an actor but not many else were.

    September 2, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  10. Shannon

    Good grief would any normal person care what this befuddled old man had to say, his peformace was pathetic. This is the man the Republlicans chose to put in their prime time line up. bahahahaha, he's stooped to a reality show on E, and he is the prize speaker at the Republican convention.

    September 2, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  11. Craig

    Of course Obama was not offended by Eastwood's senile rant. It's politics. Also, Obama has a lot of class and he's extremely intelligent. I'm voting for him this time as Romney doesn't care about people and he's just too strange.

    September 2, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  12. B.

    Eastwood is a National embarrassment to himself and the Country! What is really revealing is the response that he got that thought his tasteless and mindless comments were funny..

    It says volumes about how the Republican party has degraded to please the sleaze !

    September 2, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  13. Sheri Lee

    If Obama wins re-election, he should give Eastwood a job in his Administration. This was a real plus for Obama. Also the fact this Eastwood act people will remember not what Romney had to say. Which was nothing really but more of the same old stuff from the pass.

    September 2, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  14. Thomas

    I love that photo CNN.

    Reverend Clint , Of The Church Of Latter Day Harry .

    September 2, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  15. dreamer96

    Clint Eastwood made the movie "Gran Torino", played the part of a Vet with issues and a friend of a Vietnamese Family, and a proud Detroit Automotive Assembly Line Union worker...He put the steering column in that Gran Torino... What the heck is Clint Eastwood doing endorsing Mitt Romney...

    September 2, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  16. TJeff1776

    Unfortunately for the Repubs- they were in power BOTH in 1929 AND 2008 when both economies went south. Most economist agree that 2008 was worse than 1929. What noone is talking about IS that it took Roosevelt TEN YEARS to get the nation back on its feet. Five years after 1929, the economy was even worse. Of course it would be. BUT how does one go about blaming Obama four(4) years AFTER the Repubs MESSED IT UP and
    making wild claims that obama made it worse. I believe he has lessoned the impact pretty well. As well as anyone could have.

    September 2, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  17. chechi

    I watched the Republican convention, very organized and following a strategy. When Clint Eastwoodd came out it was a nice surprise until he started his monologue, my impression: he looks drunk and is embarrasing himself !
    That's life and that's reality,!

    September 2, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  18. cardog

    Several TeapubliCANT zombies have responded to this story as expected. The old man who use to be the man with no name, has joined the folk of "NO" politicians and has clearly displayed a once liked actor who showed he not only has no name in his movies, but he also has no brain when it comes to politics.

    September 2, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  19. Jorge Sedano

    Proud Female.. you do know he sounded a how lot like Harry Reid... The US Senate majority leader.. thats where the jokes come from..

    September 2, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    I would expect nothing less than such a gracious response from our fine President.

    September 2, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  21. works4me

    I like Eastwood. I always have. Even after this diatribe. Perhaps it time for Clint to listen to one of his greatest lines... "A man's got to know his limitations".

    September 2, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  22. Buzz

    Looked like early onset dementia to me, or he's got better pot than me :)_~

    September 2, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  23. GonzoinHouston

    You know the democrats are going to have some sort of gag related to this at their convention. Maybe Al Franken should debate an Etch-a-sketch. I'm not sure exactly what Clint's intentions were. If he was trying to blast Obama he failed. Even Obama is laughing it off and applauding the entertainment. If he was trying to upstage Mitt Romney he completely succeeded. Everyone remembers Eastwood and nothing about Romney. That may have been the idea. Clint took a lot of unfair heat for that Chrysler ad he did at the Super Bowl. Might have been some payback.

    September 2, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  24. Mama for Obama

    I thought Eastwood looked really stupid. He is in his 80's and no-one can live forever. Sadly, when he dies people will talk about his movies, etc, but they will focus on this one incredibly stupid and embarrassing speech. What was with his hair? I think President Obama is such a wonderful gentleman to say such nice things about a crazy old, angry, rich, white man who did his best to insult him and degrade him.

    September 2, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  25. Abdul Rasheed

    @ Clint Eastwood, My great grandfather said you played Robby Yates on "Raw Hide" 60 years ago. Times have changed since cowboy and Indian movies. See this is what happens when the rich and large corporations own the American government.

    September 2, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
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