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. schmedlap

    Hope and Change? Sure, I hope there's a change and Obama is voted out of office.

    September 2, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  2. goodnessmercy23@gmail.com

    The obstructionists are blocking the jobs...that should be a criminal offense and they are the ones who should be fired!

    September 2, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. Rob low

    Funny how republicans are often critical of dems Hollywood elite friends, but then they somehow decide to scramble to get some Hollywood elite to stand up for them. As for Eastwood's comment about taking us to another war, doesn't he realize our President took us out of one war started and prolonged by bush and that Romney wants to stay in Afganistan forever? Ryan says our President keeps blaming bush for our problems, well history clearly shows that it was bush how got us into all our messes, so I would say ryan and the rest of the gop just can't accept their responsibility for the mess and want to keep putting it on President Obama. Talk about not owning up to your mistakes. If citizens want help in crisises such as the lastes hurricanes, if they want equal pay for equal work, if they want all people, rich and poor, to have health care coverage with no 'pre existing conditions' clauses, if they want people to be able to chose whether or not to have a child, who to love, what religion to practice, and if they want agencies such as FEMA, HUD, Social security, Medicare, etc. to still exist, well then the choice is clearly to re-elect President Obama. By the way, if you close all these federal agencies, as the gop keeps talking about, well just how does that help with jobs if all those employees are fired? Where do they go for jobs? And, we know mitt love to fire people. He said so.

    September 2, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. John B. Martin

    Whoever it was that allowed Clint to elope from the dementia ward at the nursing home should be fired on the spot.

    September 2, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Kathryn Smith

    Dear DNC, I have a rally cry for Charlotte...kEEP HIM IN THAT CHAIR, KEEP HIM IN THAT CHAIR, KEEP HIM IN THAT CHAIR........!!!!!!

    September 2, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. Ione

    Eastwood not only appeared old and haggard but certainly sounded such.
    Cannot understand those who thought it a grand speech.

    September 2, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. ValarMorghulis

    Clint should stick with what he knows best – fantasy.

    September 2, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. D.

    Republicans wanted the actor to speak and that's what they got–an actor! And when Mrs. Romney talked about them living in a basement apt. when first married, did I miss it or did she also mention that it's reported they still list that as their legal address? And how can Romney claim to be a patriotic American let alone president when he stashes his money outside our country? Oh, I believe he's a "businessman" all right, like all the others who outsourced our jobs to avoid paying a living wage and benefits, skim their profits, golden parachute bonuses and pensions off the top and bank their employees' pensions in foreign banks! Phooey on them! Give me a "community organizer" like Obama any day, they actually know what everyday life is for most people. Romney will and his backers are unable to come down from their ivory towers, they can say they can, but they can't.

    September 2, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. Reggie from LA

    I knew it (stated actually) that President Obama would in effect, intellectualize Clint's tom foolery and move on. Now Eastwood was pushing it a bit, but frankly, it was more entertaining than offensive although some were upset. It was the best thing that happened to the convention. The Romney's speeches were awkward and as phony as $3 bills. I mean really, you're suddenly a great guy overnight? Uhm, you practice barbering skills on an unsuspecting classmate, roofrack the dog(bro), ship jobs overseas, ship people out of their jobs and in one night, you kinda hang your head sideways, put some odd look on your face and change your tone, then suddenly you're alright with everybody? Sad.

    September 2, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. George Forte

    The iconic Cint Eastwoodt did not steal the show from Mitt Romney, he help build it. He is a great messenger.

    September 2, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. sally27

    Obama 's job approval by Gallup down to 435%

    September 2, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. NoTax

    Is it libs crying again? What's a shock

    September 2, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Lois Weidner

    Who thought it would be a good idea to have Clint Eastwood speak at the Convention?It was a new low and must have been a n embarrassment to the party. What the World must think of us!!

    September 2, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  14. sally27

    Typo...that is 43%...

    September 2, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  15. guest 99/1

    Who would get offended by Clint's 99/1 performance? He was funny only 1% of the time, where the rest 99% he just made a fool of himself.

    September 2, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. Peik

    Democrats will need a good sense of humor in November. Think Joe Biden will challenge Hillary Clinton in 2016, or will he go against Ron Paul for that job as a lighthouse keeper?

    September 2, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. sally27

    Where is all the hype against the democrats who accused Romney of Murder in a campaign AD ?

    September 2, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. Don in Albuquerque

    I guess if roles could be reversed and have an imaginary Clint sitting in an empty chair, my only question to him would be "Why?". Why did you do this to yourself, why would you have so much hate for a man you never even met, why would you make yourself so trivial for a man who would probably not give you the time of day. Why would you want a brilliant career to end with people only remembering this moment?

    September 2, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. dave

    I think everyone knows we need Republican leaders to cut regulation on Wall Street and cut taxes for the welathy to fix our economy that was wrecked by Republican leaders cutting regulation on Wall Street and giving tax breaks to the wealthy.

    September 2, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. pattianne

    SeenEnough2
    I have to agree with you. President Obama went from group to group when he was running for office and he would say different things to each group concerning the same subject. That is when I started getting the feeling he would not do all that he promised. As for someone saying the GOP and Senator McConnell were determined for President Obama to be a one term President, I think that is the same feelings that a Democratic Congress would think about a Republican President. People vote for their candidate because they believe he/she are closer to their beliefs. That doesn't make either party bad. What makes them bad is when they are not able to compromise on the issues for the good of the American people.

    September 2, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. Mike Buck

    It is amazing that the GO P Party takes this country into to the ditch, agree to obstruct any attempt by Obama to get us out, and then blames Obama. The Theocracy Empire of America (TEA) Party agenda of Guns, God, Gays and Gynecology is extreme and counter productive, unless you are wealthy. What a bunch of Wankers!

    September 2, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  22. Lois Weidner

    Who thought it would be a good idea to have Clint Eastwood speak at the Convention? The empty chair conversation was a new low. and What the world must think of us!

    September 2, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. Marie MD

    How can any Democrat take offense to old geezer eastwood. That time was supposed to be part of their adoration movie to the bishop from Kolob. Even the flip flopper's wife tried to be diplomatic on TV the next day but you know that it hit that campaign hard. There was NOT one single speaker who said or explained anything new that this dynamic duo of liars is going to bring to the table and today is Sunday and we are still talking about the chair that has more charisma and personality than their presidential nominee. What could be better!!

    September 2, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. LaPlut

    I love the teleprompters in the above image of Clint. I guess our president isn't the only one who uses them.

    September 2, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  25. Richard

    What a doofus odamabama is. He thinks we're better off than 4 years ago? We're better off in jobs, the economy, taxes, doofus care?

    September 2, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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