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. Alois

    "I think we'll be playing this pretty straight," Obama said. You corrupt left wing dems have never played anything straight,in particular ,Freeloader obama.

    September 2, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. Grumpster

    Eastwood's movies stink, and now I have even less reason to go back and watch those I haven't watched since the Josey Wales days...seems he's taking Spaghetti Western quality to the GOP as it deserves.

    September 2, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. Patriot

    President Obama, as always, shows us by word and deed what class is all about.

    September 2, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. ronjayaz

    What I objected to abt Clint is that he had everybody the next day was talking abt Clint and not what Romney sed. What he sed was pure BS, an embarrassment of our political system.

    September 2, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. Barry Newman

    as an older man who loves Eastwoods movies I felt bad for him looking so old now and if I was in his position and
    my son saw me talking to an empty chair I think he would feel it was time to put the old man in a home of some sort.
    The only good he did for Mr. Romney is that the chair will always be remembered as the smartest thing on the stage as it could not talk back. Romney will be known as the chairperson. In business that is a good thing. In politics you will be laughed at...Backfire,you bet. How can you argue with a chair. Please take a seat and relax. Says the chair.

    September 2, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  6. Surfer George

    Eastwood worked the audience he had (and almost certainly completely agreed with) and he worked them like a finely tuned well oiled machine.
    I don't fault him for that, as a comedian, he did his job.

    As with the content of the entire convention, Eastwood, preaching to the quire, cared little for facts, accuracy or truth, BUT, HE WAS FUNNY!

    September 2, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  7. Keep us all on our heels...

    Democrats Convention could have Obama debating an empty suit, but I hear they have a couple of debates planned where that will happen anyway.

    September 2, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Rowdy Yates brought some entertainment to the 'lies, hate and division' support group.

    September 2, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. Anonymous


    Even though his remarks were inaccurate, EASTWOOD ENTERTAINED. That's what he does best.

    What Eastwood did was not entertaining to watch. Then again, neither was watching Charlton Heston be coached on stage by his wife during HIS last NRA appearance ever considered entertaining.

    Both episodes will go done as nothing more than embarrassing jaw dropping moments in history.

    September 2, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. zoyster1

    The thin-skinned Obama isn't fooling anyone. Once again, his rhetoric doesn't match his actions.

    September 2, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. facecardchat

    President Obama always has great comebacks, gotta love him. Someone else in the office though should blast old man Eastwood with his crazy fictional lampooning- never have we seen President Obama denounce or degrade someone in public as suggested by Eastwood. Eastwood crossed the line of fiction and non-fiction and the Republican party allowing that to happen on worldwide television shows their ignorance.

    September 2, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. labman57

    Eastwood was giving an interpretive performance as Elwood P. Dowd … with Barack as Harvey the imaginary rabbit, complete with imaginary profanity. The crowd went wild, but the rest of the nation went "WTF?"

    Clint's bizarre, rambling one-man act was a perfect addition to a convention which was laden with nonsensical commentary, revisionist history, and theatrical farce.

    September 2, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. A. Moore

    How can you be offended by watching a man who you respected as Dirty Harry, or the guy who's favorite line was " make my day", stand on tv before millions talking to empty chair looking like some old senile fool, who was just escape from some nursing home. Believe me Clint Eastwood damage himself more than anyone else, beside Mitt Romney and camp for allowing him on stage.

    September 2, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. Karl Jonas

    Is Dinesh D'Souza here to show us Obama's "rage" in this comment?

    September 2, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. old ben

    God looked down upon Obama and said "he's not bad – like all men, he is my son."

    Then God looked down upon Clint, as he performed for the RNC, and shook his head and said "the chair is not my son".

    September 2, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. Repandum

    Pure class, Mr. President.
    Obama – 2012
    A true man of the people and not corporate monsters.

    September 2, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. Bren

    Obama and the liberals KNOW that what Eastwood said/did that night was effective-–making it clear that an empty suit/empty chair is in the White House running our country. That is why they are "trying" to do so much post-election clean up!! The majority understood what Clint Eastwood was trying to say!!

    September 2, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. labman57

    Once again, Obama stands head and shoulders above the GOP throng as the only grown-up in the room.

    September 2, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. Jon King

    President Obama is a real man, a man of class, who is secure enough to laugh at himself and admit mistakes along the way. The Republican party now mostly attracts insecure guys who need someone to blame for their own failings.

    September 2, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  20. Randy, San Francisco

    Thank you to Eastwood for the bizarre speech. It may have been entertaining for die hard Romney supporters but was a major distraction from Romney's big speech. Hard core conservatives should remember Eastwood is an entertainer just like Limbaugh and Hannity, entertaining but without material substance.

    September 2, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. Max

    'THE EMPTY CHAIR' Convention

    You bet this convention will be famously remember in history as the empty chair convention...and it should. It was the most ridiculous convention in political history and the 'personal' embarrassment of himself will certainly be a part of Eastwood's and Romney's legacy as well.

    This is a moment the country will remember since it turns the tide of the election campaign to the democratic party...this will contribute to Romney's loss...MARK MY WORDS! He, like all of us will remember 'THE EMPTY CHAIR'.

    September 2, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  22. Bert

    What really makes me mad is that a large number of people (only a few here though) are speculating that Eastwood has gone senile "he's talking to an empty chair, send him to the home" for god sake if he were losing his mental facilities he wouldn't have done a skit like this, get over it, it was just some comedy and a breath of fresh air really from all the stuffed shirt two party politics. And to bb, the last bastion of discrimination in this country remains age discrimination, that is what you are, an ageist. Your comments reminded me of some opponents of the civil rights movement, who insisted they were protecting black people because they were to incapable to function in "white society".

    September 2, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  23. Not a troll

    everyone should watch Jon Stewart's rant on this one. Republicans have been raging about an Obama that none of the rest of us can see!! The entire republican party is working with all their might to create a straw man Obama because as a president he has done exactly what he was hired to do. He has led the country out of recession and done a great job moving the country backs towards the center. If they actually debate his record and not some invisible made up agenda, then they will lose. It all depends on whether the American people can be be lied to enough that it becomes truth.

    September 2, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  24. Anonymous

    i am so sick of the presidental bull crap, if romney has a pla n tell us now because i need gas and job and food and a raise NOW, DON'T WAI T TO GET IN OFFICE TO HELP INEED IT NOW, NOW, NOW

    September 2, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. Jith

    Is there any hidden motive or clear-cut to publicize himself for the next term?

    September 2, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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