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. Henry

    OUR President...sorry for the typo,

    September 2, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  2. Anthony... proud tax payer

    President Barak Hussein Obama shows more class then every Republican at the convention combined....

    4 more years of moving this country forward.

    September 2, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    The only thing I remembered about the GOT convention is that I didn't bother to watch it because it was only going to remind me of a clan revival in the south.

    September 2, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. Transcending

    The only mistake Eastwood made was when he said Angelina Jolie was one of the prettiest woman in Hollywood. ha ha

    September 2, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Paul Williamson

    I have been a great fan of Clint Eastwood for over 35 years, and he has every right to be a Republican and campaign for the "Robme and Ruin" boys. However, his lack of the respect for the Office of the President of The United Stes, which President Obama was duly elected to , belittles and hurts the United States. It ia apparent that this very sucessful actor, with a net worth of hundreds of million $, provided to him largely by the middle class and poor watching his movies, wants to minimize his taxes and does not give a D– about the people of the US who made him successful-it is all about greed and money. The Republican idealogy of "freedom and independence" is a thinly veiled disguise for greed and selfishness, screw the middle class and poor-I know, because my very wealthy brother is one of them.

    September 2, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. carlos

    the empty chair will be the the bishop doublespeak at the debates. hehehehe

    September 2, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. MDDD

    Did not watch the RNC "convention. Did see video of Eastwood next day.
    Great disappointment Mr. Eastwood. You knew you were televised to millions. Or did you? No laughs here.

    September 2, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. Jane

    What the empty chair represented to me was the empty political agenda of the Republicans. It is truly empty, Clint. This was a projection of what is actually inside your party. Psychology 101 Sir.

    September 2, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. glorydays

    He shows over and over again he is a good person and rises above the hate.

    September 2, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Sirned

    I'm still trying to figure out how George Romney who traveled a lot without his wife as many politicians have to left his wife a rose on her bedside table every day. I think what probably happened is the maid was ordered to have one placed on her bedside table every day.... A nice gesture but about as loving as having coffee ready at 8 am every morning....when you are rich it's easy to pay someone else to do the nice gestures.....Just saying the rose story would be much more of a love story if a working class guy with limited funds bought a rose everyday for his wife and personally put it on her bedside table.....

    September 2, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. Larry L

    The slogan Clint now uses to replace "Make my day" is "Change my diaper". He made a fool of himself and yet it fits perfectly with the atmosphere of the Republican Clown Car Convention.

    September 2, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  12. MalcolmJamalWarner

    Anyone and everyone who speaks down on a sitting President, berates that office-holder, and works actively to prevent him from being re-elected, AND admits to that should be labeled unAmerican, a traitor, and not worthy of appearing in public. That includes Eastwood, Rove, the Crotch brothers, Romney, Ryan, and every republican nest-sitting governor.

    September 2, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. Jacob M

    I'd like to see Robert Redford at the DNC Convention...

    September 2, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  14. Bushy Mustache

    Empty Chair was painfull to watch. Awkward and juvenile.

    September 2, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  15. Texmaster

    Eastwood took a page from the Republican politicians: Make stuff up and put words into the mouths of the opposition when they aren't there to defend themselves. So brave, so classy.

    This response from the President rings much more classy than anything I saw at the RNC last week.

    September 2, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  16. Bushy Mustache

    The GOP is DOA. They try to make lies into talking points and it fails everytime. Pathetic. Obama is leading in every swing state by a good margin. The debates will put it over the top.

    September 2, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  17. Ed Sr of Dallas Tx

    Mr Obama! YOU chose the Presidency as a PROFESSION? YOU actually trained yourself from day one in school to be PRESIDENT? You....sir.....are a "nutcase"! It is NOT a profession....it is a PATRIOTIC duty if you qualify!

    September 2, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  18. ducklin35@gmail.com

    Greta at Fox News asked Romney what he would do to resolve the housing/foreclosures situation, and he brushed right over that question, DID NOT ANSWER IT, and launched into all the empty catch phrases he has been using. That was very telling to me.

    September 2, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. Ed Sr of Dallas Tx

    I am thorougly tired of this egotistical guy who could not govern a city as a mayor!

    September 2, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. Bushy Mustache

    Mitt, how about those tax returns?

    September 2, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. Jack

    When Ann Romney said tht her marriage was not a storybook marriage with 5 screaming boys around–She was probably talking about the day the nanny and househelp were off.

    September 2, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  22. carlos

    thanks to the US Open in New York, it was great watching those matches compared to the stupidity in Tampa displayed by the RN Circus, still, Ringling Bros, and Barnum and Bailey Circus by far the best......

    September 2, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. John

    Tell me the last time your heard Obama say "Shut up" to someone or use off color language? Never. FACT, Obama is a lot more intellectually and emotionally balanced than Mr. Eastwood. Obama is a class act, sadly Eastwood is not.

    September 2, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. Anonymous

    "The Republican nominee's advisers wrote off the criticism, saying the crowd found Eastwood's remarks funny." <<– that crowd would have found a lynching funny too...

    September 2, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  25. Dave

    In the 11 swing states, Mitt Romney now attracts 46% of the vote, while President Obama earns 44%. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, and six percent (6%) are undecided......thank you Clint Eastwood

    September 2, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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