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. tensai13

    Clint shoud have spat tobacco juice over Mitten's white suit and asked "does your snake oil clean stains?"

    September 2, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  2. tensai13

    I love it – the RNC official DVD recording of the event has all reference to Clint's "brilliant" monologue – er deleted.

    September 2, 2012 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  3. CBR

    The remarks made by Clint Eastwood were made during a political convention. The Romney people did want him to speak using his own unique style. Does that mean that everything he said was acceptable. Absolutely not. Mr. Eastwood's comments were made knowing rull well that=ere would be some controversy.

    In some ways he overshadowed Mr. Romney. Some of his remarks were not acceptable because there were youngsters in attendance. However, did anyone inform Mr. Eastwood that young people would be in attendance and that he should be appropriate at all. He is first and foremost an actor and directory. The GOP got what they wanted even if some people did not like the way he spoke.

    Where was Donald Trump? Wasn't he going to have a bigger role at this convention.

    September 2, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  4. george of the jungle

    the president gave a good response and acted with a lot of class. He did not make fun of eastwood or make nasty remarks about the repos. He has more class than most of the nasty responses here.Thats why we vote for him.and not romney and the party of no . Tired of all you negitive remarks no matter what the story is about. Forward 2012

    September 2, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  5. Former Republican, now an Independent

    The republicans always hire the cocky, tough guy impersonators like Clint Eastwood and Chuck Norris, who are not known for their knowledge or doing anything to make the world a better place. The democrats on the other hand end up being endorsed by celebrities who are working all over the world helping people, and are more intellectual.

    September 2, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  6. DENNA

    You Republicans are amazing. You spent 8 years running this country into the ground and it's suddenly all the Democrats fault. If even one of you would admit that conservative policies caused this, I could take you seriously. And Romney is telling the same lies the 2010 Tea Party freshmen – "jobs, jobs, jobs". You haven't done very well, have you.

    September 2, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  7. normajean @ verizon ,com

    Clint Eastwood came across as an old fool....I'm older than he is and I couldn't figure out what kind of nonsense he was into....I began to think he was beginning senility. Sadly I lost respect for someone whose talent I had admired. and he certainlly did not help the republican party,.....even if they think he did!!!!!

    September 2, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  8. Carol Sherman

    I understand the empty chair and so does Obama. It takes a very rare and unique person to be able to laugh at yourself and with others. The problem with the empty chair is the fact that he is, like so many of us, in the prime of our lives. Age has a way of making us look foolish enough without doing things that could be interpreted as a problem of our age. I like Obama, agree that Clint Eastwood is a good actor and a great director. Like the my understanding of the empty chair, I understand the accomplishments by our president and commander in chief. His reaction to this is why I respect and admire him more than I ever have before. Mr. President, you do not hear it enough from little people like me, but Thank You very much for trying to cater to the whims of this nation, so graciously.

    September 2, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  9. 0rangeW3dge

    Poor conservatives,,,never did have a sense of humour (or, irony)

    September 2, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  10. Mike P.

    Such grace, such dignity and integrity.

    Obama's got MY vote, hands down.

    September 2, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  11. Larry

    Good response to a senior citizen who's lost his way

    September 2, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  12. zack_shaffiq

    Dear Americans.
    Please make your choice based on the BETTER option for your President.
    IMHO, Obama might not be the best option for your President but he might as well be the better option as compared to Romney.
    And please, with due respect to Mr Eastwood, dont just listen to someone from Hollywood. Please try to differetiate between fictional fantasy and harsh realities......Thank you.

    September 2, 2012 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  13. Carol Sherman

    To Seen enough 2 from Seeking justice 2 Our family does not see him as half white or half black, but what we see is the whole truth of a great president and a great man. The reason you see him as a used car salesman is that is how you percieve yourself as better than thou and how sad for you. Used car salesmen are move necessary and valuable than apparently the value you precieve yourself.

    September 2, 2012 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  14. upwardquest

    Thank you, President Obama for the great job you are doing, and for all you do. I am especially grateful for your help in keeping my home. I am voting for YOU!

    September 2, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  15. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    In case some of you on the right aren't good at math,lets refresh the memory a bit......

    The Presidents deficits originated under President Bush. Think not ?

    Tax Cuts for the UBER rich 2001-2002 ( 4 trillion over 10 years )
    Prescription Drug Benefits ( 1 trillion over 10 years )
    Economic meltdown 2007-2008 ( 3 trillion and getting bigger )
    Iraq and Afghanistan wars ( 2 trillion and winding down )

    Thats 10 trillion that americans are willing and happy to W a pass on. In the same breath have the nerve to call this current President a failure. No wonder the president says we need to invest in education in this country.

    While I'm at it under George W. Bush we somehow lost 6.6 BILLION in cash in Iraq. NEVER been found,

    But W. gets a PASS for losing that much in cash ?

    Can anyone imagine if President Obama had done that ?

    Alot of you take great offense because W's failure and complete destruction of our current economy is true. And it HURTS to know your guy........W.......the fiscal conservative &^%$ up SO bad.

    September 2, 2012 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  16. Carol Sherman

    Val Wayne.....I think because of his age they did not want to fire Clint Eastwood.

    September 2, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  17. Everything will be illuminated soon

    President Obama would have made the original founding fathers proud .. he has shown very noble characteristics. He is the best statesman and representative of this country we have seen in a long time, Hubert Humphrey was one for sure. There is a lot to be said for an honest man and Obama is a truly rare find. and hence the perfect reason he doesn't represent the people that hate him. Its not I think he is a god as much as I think most people are stupid and selfish so they can't stand the sight of being of light. It scares them and makes them as small as the are.

    September 3, 2012 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  18. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    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 |


    Well WHO was it intended for ?

    Eastwood referenced him only ?

    People like you IMO see a black man and just dislike the guy so much ANYTHING he does or says is arrogant to you.

    YOU sound offended that President Obama didn't give you that rise you were looking for, no ?

    That 'angry black man' reaction or whatever some of you were hoping for.


    You sir a truly sad person. If he gets mad,or brushes it off like he did......Damned if he does,damned if he doesn't.

    September 3, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  19. Geoff

    The only thing anyone remembers about the republican national convention is a stammering incoherent, perhaps even senile, Clint Eastwood having a conversation with an empty chair. Good message, republicans!

    September 3, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  20. KO

    Eastwood did us all a favor by showing what's really the problem with Republicans–an imaginary President that they're all afraid of. The real Obama is nothing like the way they talk about him.

    September 3, 2012 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  21. From Texas

    Obama is a liar

    September 3, 2012 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  22. From Texas

    Clint Rules!

    September 3, 2012 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  23. My Panties

    Senor Clint Eastwood is a true American Hero.

    September 3, 2012 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  24. Mark

    I've always been a centrist, which means I tend to pretty much ignore the trolls on either side; I did indeed watch Eastwood, quite frankly it came across as a rambling mess and not at all impressive. I dislike a lot about Obama but the Republicans so far have not moved the needle much at all for me.

    September 3, 2012 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  25. From Texas

    "if you are easily offended you should probably choose another profession". Being president is more than a profession. If you want your workday to end a 6pm and prefer spending time with your family over your duty as president – that's fine. But you should definitely choose another profession.

    September 3, 2012 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
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