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. bfire

    Four years ago the stock market fell to 6000 points and now it's at 13,000 points. The financial banks were all about to fall and go out of business and now they're all okay. GM and the American auto industry were ready to go bankrupt and now they're okay. The unemployment rate was at 10% when Obama was in office the first few months and now it's down to 8%. We were losing 800,000 jobs per month 4 years ago and now we're gaining over 150,000 jobs per month. Yeah I guess things were better 4 years ago before Obama was president and wish we could return to the good old days again.

    September 3, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  2. Name

    clints empty chair bit is not even original. RFK used it in the 60s when his opponent refused to debate him. He debated with an empty chair.

    September 3, 2012 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  3. anon

    This election was over they nominated Romney. He cannot beet Obama. He is like a piece of cardboard. He has no vision, he has a Republic politician but has failed to say one thing that inspires me. Even though I am more dem than rep, I tend to watch Fox news, just to try to get the perspective from the other side. Yes, not one idea that makes sense.

    Back in 2008 when we voted for change I was hopeful. I sincerely believe that Obama meant and continues to mean all that he promised. Why couldn't this get done, it's not Obama, it's the RELIGOUS right that took over congress. The Tea Party is the real failure in leadership in this country, they turned what was a Reagen institution with appropriately moderate ideas into essentially a Christian-Biggetted religious organization that says NO to everything, which means no progress.

    I pray that we can multiple things in this next go around – a) Get rid of a lot of the tea party and give power back to the demos. b) Get serious about deficit reduction but not at the extreme expense of the middle class c) Fix this economy (there is SO much congress and the pres could do if people would agree) d) WAKE UP PEOPLE – NO CROPS – HEAT – thank God Obama has some semblence of understanding when it comes to the environment e) Fix the public education system which will be the downfall of this great nation unless taken care of.

    Anyway sorry for the rant – but SAY NO TO ROMNEY and SAY NO TO THE TEA PARTY MINIONS.

    September 3, 2012 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  4. Isaac

    A senile old person upset about something that isn't there. A perfect metaphor for the Teapublicans if ever there was one.

    September 3, 2012 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  5. ben b

    Big D, we should also point out the unemployment rate collapsed from 5.5% i June 2008 to 8.2% in Feb 2009 just as Obama was taking the keys from Bush. I truly don't understand how this fact is not brought up more often by others. And for those who would simply say "your the president, fix it", with out considering how we got into this mess, all I have to say is you do us Americans proud, by your "outstanding" disregard for researching the simple true facts. It can only be two things, honest lack of knowledge, yet genuine concern for America or those who have enough genuine hate for a "different" president, they'll feel just as justified, covering the truth, so the those don't have the facts remain in the dark and follow the same hate trend. Don't take my word for it...Google "unemployment rates month by month" the truth will set you free!

    September 3, 2012 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  6. Carol Sherman

    Alina 1, I heard the chair tell Clint that he did not get much of an education because when he was groing up his mother was a naughty pine so he did not have the opportunity to be educated abroad.

    September 3, 2012 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  7. Larry L

    @Melvin Painter

    How could obama take offense when everything was true.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Melvin, how do Republicans simply forget about George W. Bush? Just hiding from view isn't enough to make people for the recession he caused and the two wars he started – but didn't put on the books. How can you ignore the absolute fact that Republicans planned to obstruct all progress from day one! Where's the anger for the ones who started it and worked to prevent it getting better? And you found Romney? A spoiled preppy with magic underwear? This iswhat you do for America?

    September 3, 2012 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  8. Katja

    Clint Eastwood was brilliant and funny.
    Obviously Democrats didn't like it , so they resort to attacking his personal life , his age and whatever else they can find.
    America is on a downward path and mired in division , hatred and pettiness.
    Racism and religion should never play a part in Politics.
    Obama has been a bad President and has not achieved much , blaming Bush and congress is so passe .
    He is a no show on the international scene and ask yourself when did he give his last press conference .
    He is either fundraising , campaigning or golfing.

    September 3, 2012 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  9. Po

    The Republicans humiliated Clint Eastwood the same way they embarrased the United States when we went looking for weapons of mass destruction that never existed. He was so humiliating that I switched the channel. This is a sad lasting way to remember Rowdie Yates from Rawhide, a bumbling idiot. The Repukes did this.

    September 3, 2012 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  10. Po

    The Republicans are crew-ups ! ! !

    September 3, 2012 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  11. Po

    The Republicans are in denial about Bush almost putting us in a depression. They should get therapy. It is all propaganda about Reagan. He was at best mediocre, but he's all they have. Their symbol should not the the elephant, but the UNICORN because they live in LA LA and Fantasy Land with all of their lies that they think we are so stupid to find out.

    September 3, 2012 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  12. Po

    Clint Eastwood looked empty, like he wasn't all there. WHy did he not say good things about Romney. Maybe he's going to secretly vote for Obama.

    September 3, 2012 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  13. CPhase2

    Classy. The legendary Clint Eastwood takes jabs at the Commander in Chief, and President Obama takes it in stride, and even chided Eastwood on his latest films.

    September 3, 2012 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  14. Daws

    So weird... given the messages of his last movies, I thought he was a democrat now. Perhaps old habits are hard to break...

    September 3, 2012 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  15. Matt Ryan

    De Niro to Eastwood: "You talking to me???"

    September 3, 2012 04:38 am at 4:38 am |
  16. Unseen Hand Great Equalizer

    I think the Democrats are giving up a golden opportunity if they don't bring an empty chair on stage. Just the gesture alone speaks volumes. Suggestions:

    "Obama wants you to know...he did not build the chair."

    "If Romney/Ryan get in the White House, we will see a whole set of these, known as musical chairs...when it comes to Medicare...and Mitt's invisible taxes...and their promises of creating jobs from trickle down economics."

    September 3, 2012 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  17. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The unhinged GOBP tea potty are so desperate that they brought in Hollywood to swiftboat their own convention. They claim that they hate Hollywood. They are delusional like Clint so they defend him.

    September 3, 2012 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  18. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The unhinged GOBP tea potty are out of control.

    September 3, 2012 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  19. Todd

    Clint didn't know the chair was empty. He talks to chairs, walls, trees, anything that will listen. Eastwood is not the shining example of a citizen with the highest morals and impeckable track record. Its no surprise the Republican party would put him on a pedistal because compared to most of them he could be pope.

    September 3, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  20. Steve

    The Republican controlled House may just have something to do with the lack of progress in resolving the nation's economic woes, after all the control the purse strings. No one should beliee that the Presidency is a easy job and unilaterally that office can fix the ills that was inherited rom the past several decades.

    Education of the American workforce is vital to support an employment in domestic ihigh tech/progressive ndustries.

    Too much effort has been in promoting bickering rather than taking action to resolve current problems.

    We are all shooting ourselves in the foot and then complaining we can't work because of it.

    September 3, 2012 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  21. kathy/Minnesota

    There is no denying things have gotten better, It took 8 years to screw us all (thanks BUSH) and recovery "DOESN'T" come over night. Anyone who refuses to acknowledge the facts,are just as pitaful as country hick(hater) mitch mcconell.

    September 3, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  22. Sue

    Of course he wasn't offended, Eastwood sounded like an senile old man.

    September 3, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  23. Rickyt

    Obama made a wise choice by not "dissing" Clint. After all "A man has got to know his limitations".

    September 3, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  24. deadlyserious

    I'm still in awe of Eastwood's ability to blame invisible-Obama for things that real-Bush actually did.

    September 3, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  25. Ganiyat from Nigerian

    I'll wish is d types of obama will i haveing in Nigerian it will have better and be the most happies countries in d world.to me is real worke there, as for people dey can not be greatful in their there life.him is a great man,

    September 3, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
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