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.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

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. emma

    The problem with Eastwood's performance is that it lacked punch.

    September 2, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  2. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Growing up as a kid I was always a big western movie fan and a big fan of Clint Eastwood. During the decades I have collected just about all Clint Eastwood's movies. I loved him darely. And I must say that I have no problem with someone who votes republican or support the republican party. However when Clint Eastwood endorsed Mitt Romney, the Tea Party that supports Jim Crow and the GOP who just ruined our country and murdered so many Americans and foreign civilians in their senseless and illegitimate Afghan and Iraqi wars, I did something that brought tears to my eyes. I threw years of Clint Eastwood's movies that I have collected in the trash. It wouldn't hurt Mr. Eastwood because he has been successful and loosing one fan means nothing to him but it sure felt good when I eventually got over the fact that I was no longer a Clint Eastwood fan. And now when I sit n my tv room chair, I enjoy watching those other Hollywood mvie stars who care about the middle class and the poor, Gays and Lesbians, women and seniors, Hispanic and African-Americans, Muslims-Americans and all Americans as a whole.

    Obama/Biden 2012!

    September 2, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  3. TheTraveler

    Yeah, I think Eastwood's performance totally overshadowed Mitt Romney. Clint sure got the media channels and the blogsphere fired up after the RNC, much more interesting than Romney's "warm and fuzzy, Dad gave Mom a rose everyday" speech.
    Personally, I think Eastwood and Condi Rice stole the show at the RNC.

    September 2, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. Name

    there was no reason for him to behave in such a manner but then again this is Clint Eastwood talking about so it's to be expected. what was not expecting were his extremely harsh and brash comments made toward president which was completely unexpected, but like the president said he is an exceptional director and amazing actor and that he will always be so it stands to reason that his political advice and ideology should be taken with a grain of salt.

    September 2, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. g

    the whole convention was a empty chair -obama bad,obama bad,HOW YOU GOING TO FIX THE COUNTRY REPUBLICAN,S BROKE-OBAMA BAD,OBAMA BAD

    September 2, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. Peace

    In the whole convention I just remember: first the empty chair, the rose, majority of speakers promoting themselves and not Mitt Romney. Thats all. I do not know how all these will help to move the country forward!

    September 2, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. Namelee

    Llve in new Orleans and lost power due to hurricane and missed seeing the entire Republican convention. Power still out. I know this can not George bush fault. More likely Obama's trying to keep me from getting the real facts during this election.
    Just saying mayby

    September 2, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. Name Dolores

    It was a great idea to have some humor interjected and to see the human side of the campaign, keeping it civil and uplifting.

    September 2, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  9. Ann

    "One thing about being president or running for president – if you're easily offended, you should probably choose another profession," Obama told USA Today.

    Being president is not a profession.. Mr. Obama. It's a job. You do the job, you may stay 4 more years. You don't do the job, you are fired.

    September 2, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. Skeptic

    The key word is "performance". An award winning director he is. An award winning performer he is not!

    September 2, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  11. g

    he was a great actor,director, great movies–he will be remembered for talking to a empty chair-SAD

    September 2, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    I like the guy on page two who referred to the GOT convention as the "EMPTY CHAIR CONVENTION." And that is exactly what the GOT convention was...EMPTY!

    September 2, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. Name

    Never the less, when the DEVIL left the Building, he left obama a lot of waist, thats why we all.need to pray and put on armor, and suit up, only god has the last say,

    September 2, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. James PDX

    For those of you not paying attention, the Electoral college decides who will be president. Your vote (the popular vote) does not count. However, your vote can accomplish something. It can show these 2 corrupt and inept parties that we are not fooled and we are not happy. Vote for a 3rd party candidate and make a statement to our politicians that we are no longer amused by their dog, pony and empty chair shows and that we want some real leadership. Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Stewart Alexander, are a few of the candidates that partisan news agencies like CNN and FOX don't want you to hear about. Pick one and make a statement. Real change won't come from the same thing we've had for decades.

    September 2, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. vic , nashville ,tn

    Really these convention become circus Compare to 1992 DNC convention
    Please go back watch Bill Clinton speech
    Soon after Bill Clinton speech we decided our votes for Clinton

    September 2, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. valenteusa

    I'm certainly not a supporter of Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, but I'm still going to watch Clint Eastwood movies I've alwasys enjoyed. I find it amusing that every time an entertainer may disagree with a fan politically, they boycott their work. It's as if to say the fan seeks to be a dictator and is saying "its my way or the highway."

    I think people should be grateful that entertainers like Eastwood, Jolie, and Willis are at least honest with where they stands. Agents typically tell entertainers to clam up about politics for fear of fans like some who have posted here. Imagine if we knew the political stance of every major brand in America these days. How would you eat? Most of us don't own farms anymore and barely know how to plant a garden. I say grow up, stand for what you believe in, and stop whining like babies because someone elese has a different perspective.
    -Lorenzo

    September 2, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  17. Andy

    "Be aware that this is Barack Obama, the most popular President in the world, and could blow your campaign clean off. Do you feel lucky, punk? Do you?"

    September 2, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. bts7

    Quick questions...if Obama is as bad a president that Republicans make him out to be...WHY do they have to LIE about him? The truth would stand alone!...WHY LIE? And why entrust the country in the hands of those who LIE?

    September 2, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. carlos

    Arnold to willard and the nose ryand...HASTA LA VISTA BABYS.......where are the willard's TAX RETURNS, i will....i will....i will is not enough, stop hiding them, release them NOW, freaking hypocrite and get rid of that disgusting smirk....

    September 2, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. Andy

    And next we'll see Kim Kardashian providing scientific advice about the NASA Mars Mission.

    September 2, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. They Said What

    The Clint speech was truly "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly".....OQQQQh Clint.....still one of my Fav actors and movie maker.

    September 2, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  22. suzy diamond

    That's all OBAMA COULD do is laugh it off. Can't talk about his dismal record of the last four years.

    September 2, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  23. wgf

    When I first heard that Clint Eastwood was going to be a speaker at the convention my reaction was: So what ? Another rich, old, out-of-touch white guy. What demographic is he appealing to that the GOP doesn't already have ?

    But he did fit right in - debating an imaginary president over imaginary issues, and repsonding to his own contrived imaginary responses. That is, afterall, the GOP campaign in a nutshell (no pun intended).

    Vote GOP - the anti-reality party,

    September 2, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. Henry

    "One thing about being president or running for president – if you're easily offended, you should probably choose another profession," Obama told USA Today.

    That's out president being PRESIDENTIAL. OBAMA 2012!!!

    September 2, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. Beuna Oates

    Clint Eastwood is what they do best act!

    September 2, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16