Eastwood breaks silence: Obama a 'hoax' on American people
September 7th, 2012
11:25 AM ET
2 years ago

Eastwood breaks silence: Obama a 'hoax' on American people

(CNN) - In his first public statements since his rambling, improvised remarks at last week's Republican National Convention, Clint Eastwood told a California newspaper that Mitt Romney's campaign wasn't able to approve his speech, since he wasn't sure what he was going to say until he walked out on stage.

"They vet most of the people, but I told them, 'You can't do that with me, because I don't know what I'm going to say,'" Eastwood told the Carmel Pine Cone. Eastwood served as the mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea in the 1980s.

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Eastwood said ahead of his speech, the only guidance he could offer Romney's campaign was "to reassure them that everything I would say would be nice about Mitt Romney."

During Eastwood's remarks, delivered directly ahead of Sen. Marco Rubio's introduction of Romney on the final night of the GOP convention, the legendary actor and director addressed an empty chair that he said represented President Barack Obama.

At times, Eastwood sent the crowd into laughing fits when he pretended Obama was offering colorful objections.

"What do you want me to tell Romney?" Eastwood asked the empty chair. "I can't tell him to do that to himself ... you're getting as bad as Biden ... of course we all know Biden is the intellect of the Democratic Party. Kind of a grin with a body behind it ..."

In the interview published online Friday, Eastwood said the chair was a last-minute decision made backstage.

"There was a stool there, and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down," Eastwood said, according to the newspaper. "When I saw the stool sitting there, it gave me the idea. I'll just put the stool out there and I'll talk to Mr. Obama and ask him why he didn't keep all of the promises he made to everybody."

The intention of his speech, Eastwood said, was threefold.

"That not everybody in Hollywood is on the left, that Obama has broken a lot of the promises he made when he took office, and that the people should feel free to get rid of any politician who's not doing a good job," he told the Carmel Pine Cone.

"President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people," Eastwood continued. "Romney and Ryan would do a much better job running the country, and that's what everybody needs to know. I may have irritated a lot of the lefties, but I was aiming for people in the middle."

"But I didn't make up my mind exactly what I was going to say until I said it," he said.

That much seemed clear during his remarks, which were not delivered using a teleprompter and at times seemed to ramble in multiple directions.

Reaction to Eastwood's remarks was mixed but discussion of #eastwooding immediately went viral on the internet. While many observers said he overshadowed Romney's acceptance speech later than event, Romney's campaign said his remarks were "a break from all the political speeches."

"Judging an American icon like Clint Eastwood through a typical political lens doesn't work," a Romney campaign aide said shortly after the speech.

Eastwood himself gave a similar assessment in the interview.

"They've got this crazy actor who's 82 years old up there in a suit," he said. "I was a mayor, and they're probably thinking I know how to give a speech, but even when I was mayor I never gave speeches. I gave talks."

"It was supposed to be a contrast with all the scripted speeches, because I'm Joe Citizen," Eastwood added. "I'm a movie maker, but I have the same feelings as the average guy out there."

CNN's Jim Acosta, Halimah Abdullah and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

soundoff (777 Responses)
  1. Fidup

    Give me a break, I want the old Democratic Party back.. not these new haters... Clint Eastwood may be 82 but that doesn't automatically make him have Dementia... He told it like it has been and will be if Obama gets Elected. He was an empty sitting President, you may say he inherited a mess, but did HE REALLY Have to Make it even Worse... Some people need to get their heads out of the a..... and Wake up before you re-elect and give him four more years to completely destroy the United States... And Please put "United back into the Democratic Party", so I can again back this Party that I loved so much in past years. Now an Independent..

    September 7, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. "Dirty Harry"...the greatest..

    Thank you Clint Eastwood....You made our day..."No you made America's Day:......Yea..."make my day....

    September 7, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Much ado about nothing.
    How about those Cowboys?!

    September 7, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. marinedad05

    Clint, I think you did a great job.

    Whatever little message Mitt Romney had in his speech was certainly overshadowed by your's. You were funny, and spontaneous. And your dislike for the President was clear. But we all knew you did.

    The Dems should actually thank you, because you thoroughly obliterated any message from Romney.

    September 7, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. maquignon

    Clint Eastwood's speech was brilliant and a welcome comic relief from the politicians. It was hilarious!!!!

    September 7, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Rick wrote

    I love how all you libs freak out when some prominent figure disagrees with you. You're right, everyone who doesn't agree with you is a racist bigot, who hates old people and poor people etc. We all want to give our money to the 1% rich people. I mean how ridiculous is that? I think Clint looked his age and rambled but so what? The guy spoke his mind and although you might think he's crazy, millions of people share the same opinion. .........
    -------------------
    I think Eastwood gave a great speech, too. So good that you cannot remember what Romney spoke about.

    September 7, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. steeler1nation

    Ken-ya all guess which country our lowly president was born in?

    September 7, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. Dean

    Spot on!

    September 7, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. TomGI

    The speech and this follow-up is just his attempt to get his name in the news coinciding with the release of his latest film. Self promotion, period.

    September 7, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  10. Jojola

    Had no idea Eastwood was a right wing lunatic. I guess you never know a person's true feelings about race until you elect a black man as president. Not like he needs it but I'll never spend another dime on any of his movies or watch any westerns he stars in and that's saying a lot because I love a good old westerns.

    September 7, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  11. Jojola

    Had no idea Eastwood was a right wing lunatic. I guess you never know a person's true feelings about race until you elect a black man as president. Not like he needs it but I'll never spend another dime on any of his movies or watch any westerns he stars in and that's saying a lot because I love a good old western.

    September 7, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. haggisdog

    Yes, he's definitely "Joe Citizen", multi-millionaire living in Carmel, seven children from five different women (he only married two). Yup he's just like the rest of us. Honestly, what was the RNC thinking when they put this dusty old actor in a suit on stage? They would have been better off with Joe the Plumber... oh wait...

    September 7, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. Independent jim

    Clint Easywood is a great actor and director ..and I really like him ..he isw not a good spokesperson for the Romney Camp because he doesnt feel it ..but like a good republican he did what they wanted sort of ..but hisw heart wasnt in it

    September 7, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. michael

    the conservative eite just doesnt get it. they are a dying party as they are now. they need to go back to how they were in the 1960's when they were more mainstream

    September 7, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. michael

    freaking right wing nut jobs they will always be on the wrong side of history

    September 7, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  16. eyeRollz

    I bet next time they vet his "speech".

    September 7, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. DG

    I am a an Independent swing voter and his speech came off as pure entertainment and he did make me laugh. However, his speech did nothing to influence my vote towards Romney. I have my problems with the Dem party for sure but the RNC did nothing to pull me over to that side and didn't make a case IMO. I guess I will have to wait for the debates to make my final decision.

    September 7, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  18. Kweso

    How could somebody who produced and directed 'Invictus' be so cruel and disrespectful?

    September 7, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  19. Sal

    Well for those of you who don't know, the republican party was NEVER for the middle class, or the working people of this country! They didn't approve of social security when it was proposed, and they never supported medicare when it was proposed either! And you still want to vote for a mean spirited republican? Think about it. 

    September 7, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  20. haggisdog

    There's no doubt that no one can remember Romney's speech with good reason... there was no content. Clint showed himself for what he and the RNC really are... grand-dad waving his fist from his Barcalounger mumbling and shouting about how the young generation has it all wrong. Seriously its a re-run of Archie Bunker.

    September 7, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. ABM

    Looks like I've been blocked by CNN. For asking people to read the comments and decide for themselves whether the Libs were really as tolerant, diverse, and inclusive as they claim to be.

    No matter.

    We know who CNN is cheering and working for...

    Ciao, commies.

    September 7, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  22. Dan5404

    Clint Eastwood had an embarrassing momemt, not an inspiring speech. He is welcome to an opinion, but just like everyone else, your opinion may not be true. I think this latest one is completely incorrect. and applies more correctly to the master flip-flopper and out-of-context liar in PAC ads and speeches.

    September 7, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  23. fakepost

    Same way that Clinton's speech overshadowed Bo's??

    September 7, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  24. portia2708

    The very best Clint Eastwood films were the ones where he spoke ONLY minimally...he should have learned that by now...he didn't and it cost him a lot of fans...me for one...I knew he was a Republican, but he proved to be an idiot too...it was stupid and unseemly to talk about a sitting president like that...even Bush was not afforded that kind of nastiness...and, if anyone deserved it, Bush did

    September 7, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  25. child of midian

    Used to think Eastwood was a smart guy, but now, he just listens to the lies. Paul Ryan lied for an hour on that same stage, even FOX News called him on it, absolute lies. How any thinking person can endorse these two I'll never understand. It takes courage, integrity, conviction to be a president, and above all, it should take Honesty, these two lack it sorely and Clint should no better. Sad day for him, sad day for us all.

    September 7, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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