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. Anonymous

    I have a perfect idea for a commerical.... Show a wooden chair. Then a hand places an Etch a Sketch on the chiar. Zoom out to the empty room.... then the words "Romney's vision of America"

    No, words.. no actors.. just place an Etch a Sketch on a chair.

    September 2, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. Common Sense Mom

    Eastwood looked totally senile and crazy, his hair wild like an old Q-tip half pulled apart. And in his quavery hoarse geriatric voice he perfectly delivered the negative snark that has become the hallmark of any Republican public speaker. At this rate the 2016 RNC is going to have to hire a corpse as their surprise celebrity guest.

    September 2, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. tcaros

    I have the perfect commercial..... Picture an empty wooden chair. Then without words a hand places an Etch a Sketch on the chair. After a few seconds words on the screen "Romney's America"

    That would be an awesome commercial.

    September 2, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. Lizzie

    President Obama, I did NOT watch it, but I know every word he spoke. Mr. . President politics is not supposed to be a PROFESSION but a JOB, you had 3 1/2 years ON THE JOB TRAINING, and all you learned was how to spend money, how to take trips and charge the taxpayers, improve your golf game, hobnob with the Hollywood elite and make sure your POPULAR at all cost, you have followed Saul Alynskys playbook page by page.

    September 2, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. independent

    So Obama doesn't taken offense? Whew! That's a load off. Now if he would only stop blaming everyone else for his failed policies. Obama is the most insecure, thin-skinned president in the nation's history. Note to Obama: "slow jamming" on national television does not make a great leader. Neither does blaming everyone else. You're a true coward and whiner.

    September 2, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. BK

    Clint Eastwood has went from being a national treasure to a bitter old man that probably belongs in a home. It's always sad when the great ones start loosing it.

    September 2, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. Dan

    Taking the high road is what you want from Mr. President.Thank you very much.

    September 2, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. Patrick

    At least Clint didn't yell "Get off my lawn!"

    September 2, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Clint is an American icon and has paid his dues. However, the GOP will lose this November because Willard Romney is only "acting" like he cares about Americans more than his off-shore, non-American bank accounts.

    September 2, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. Helena Montana

    It was a sad & pathetic display by Mr. Eastman. He has forever tainted his legacy as an actor & director.

    September 2, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  11. buckshot

    And all the people that eerroneously believe oblabla is a president are in dire need psychiatric evaluation.

    September 2, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. deman

    I hope Clint's Medicare covers his stay at Assisted-mental care-Living.

    September 2, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. Ja-Coffalotte

    Someone should drop off Clint at the glue factory.

    September 2, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. Agnim

    The old actor was representing the invisible Obama that ONLY lying and delusional republicons can see, the 'failed Obama' of their overactive imagination.

    That was the reason for the old actor speaking to the empty seat: The Obama to whom he was speaking, IS NOT the real and successful Obama who most of America and the world know.

    September 2, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. Chuck

    Mr. President. It's the results not details!

    September 2, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. The fact is

    dsmidiman, I like your comment. I used to like Clint Eastwood and his movies, but after his speech on Thursday night, I have changed my opinion on him. What a shame!

    September 2, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. bobden

    Seems to me that the repugs in congress have violated their oath of office. Shouldn't they be removed from office?

    If corporations are people, too, then should they not be subject to the laws that people must follow? Should a corporation go to jail for violating a law? If a corporation cannot be put in jail, then it is not a person.

    September 2, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. independent

    If Robert Gibbs is so convinced there are no "disappointed" Obama voters from 2008, he needs to watch the documentary to be released soon, "The Hope And The Change." That's right though, the Obama administration lives in its own vacuum thinking every household worships him. What a joke. I look forward to November when Mitt Romney will be voted in as the next President of the United States.

    September 2, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. Dolly

    I truly thought Mr.Eastwood was a quiet,gentle man. And Ialso thought he had class. I am angry with myself that it took me 74 years to find out that I was very very wrong. What a disappointment!!! And what a silly gimmick,an empty chair???

    September 2, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Ron L- Mich

    Mr. Eastwood just got a little carried away...thats it, no more, no less.

    September 2, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. josh rogen

    he should laugh it off...it was funny.. this seems to be the only president we're NOT allowed to make fun of. this is the US not north Korea

    September 2, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. w l jones

    The dept of one sole come from his or her mother the president believe is buried deep in the America way my skin is to thick to let something like that get in the way of me during my job for we the people of America.

    September 2, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. independent

    What many of the commenters here need to realize is that there are many conservatives in Hollywood who always vote for Republican, some big names too. They just don't boast about it. By looking at the comments, the intellect of many here is of low substance, which seems to be the requirement for a typical Obama supporter.

    September 2, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. clarke

    You would think we would have good examples for our Children, I don't care if they are in sports, movies, teachers, parents, family members, Presidents, politicians, just to name a few. Don't blame the kids for living what they learn. So much disrespect, everywhere. What has happened to us

    September 2, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. Carol

    There was a lot to laugh about at the convention. It was a flop.

    September 2, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
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