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. Anonymous

    All do respect, My Eastwood, you are dead wrong. Where were you when Bush went to two wars with lies and no money to fund them? Where were you when Bush tax cuts gave us a balloon debt? Where were you when they leaked CIA name? Where were you when they started to torture? Where were you when their friends made billions from war contracting to their friends? Where were you when the country's economy was in brink of collapse? You may have your distorted views of the past, bu do not try to shove your views to the American people who do not share you views. You are a another rich dude who benefited from Bushes policy and will benefit huge from Romney's. Do not compare yourself to normal Joe. If anything your views are a hoax.
    As a normal Joe, I can only write to on these blogs and tell you what I think.

    September 7, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. Ben Yaweh

    I am an Obama supporter and I love Clint Eastwood movies and will always do. I could not bear to look at him on stage at the Rep. Convention. I believe that celebrities like Mr. Eastwood, should shy away from the political spotlight unless they plan on making it a full time carreer.

    September 7, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Actually I have an unimpeachable source that Clint is going to be Romney's Secetary of Nice. Now how bout that! No doubt Obama is huddleing withe his Advisers on what to do next. Obama isn't a Hoax. He isn't intellegent enough to be that. But not to worry. The long nightmare is about to end. The Tea Leaves and Tea Party are indicating a change is coming in November.

    September 7, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Carlin123

    90 million people will NOT VOTE in this election. Because they know the Republicans and Democrats are screwing us all.

    September 7, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. the Situation

    WiredWeirdinSF

    An honest sincere person, something the democrat liberals are not used to and certainly cannot stand. If honest and sincerity were actually practiced by democrat liberals, there would be no such thing. Witness Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Joe Biden and Hussein himself, No honesty among them.

    September 7, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |

    You have to be joking right. Honesty??? Hell Family Values. Yeah that same crap that all you Neocons have been preaching since Ike years doesn't cut it. Which party has been more dishonest with the American people. REPUBLICANS.
    Nixon gave you all Watergate and lied
    Reagan gave you Iran-Contra, not to mention made a deal with Iran to keep the hostage until he took over in Jan, 1981
    Bush 41: Read My Lips, No New Taxes = Lie
    Bush 43: Well were do you start with the amount of lies he, Dick Cheney, Rumsfled, Rice spew to the American people from disregard people in Miami Dade County votes to bully his way into the WH. Lied About WMD, Yeah and they are still search thrun the streets of Bagdad.

    The only thing that you can talk about Democrats is Bill Clinton and his affair. At least that never cost any American lives. You Neocons make me laugh with the crap you continue to talk.

    September 7, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. JohnRJohnson

    I feel so badly for Clint. He is in the process of destroying his legacy. Who he is is as important as the work he does. Clint, you'll always be Rowdy Yates to me.

    September 7, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. Vote for Seamus, elect Kolob's next dog catcher

    The empty suit speaks.
    This time No empty chair hoax, just more senile.

    September 7, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Jersey Girl

    @Ana

    I never liked Eastwood's Spaghetti Westerns the same as I didn't like his act at the DNC. He sounded amateurish and uninteresting. All he did was waste time and tarnish his iconic mistique?

    ===========
    Old Clint didn't do his skit at the DNC, it was at the RNC. Big difference...

    September 7, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. Ray In Phoenix

    Old...young....whatever. What has become clear is that Dems don't know how to handle the truth that Mr. Eastwood brought forward that night. Notice that the Libtards on this thread don't even try to argue against Clint's main idea...Obama has failed, he's a hoax, and he needs to be replaced. They know its true, so they attack Clint. Pathetic. Funny, but pathetic.

    September 7, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. MiddleClassCitizen

    I love Clint. He's so right about “I think it may be time for somebody else to come along and solve the problems,”

    September 7, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Bart

    Grampa Simpson has a new voice

    September 7, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. CC

    All do respect, My Eastwood, you are dead wrong. Where were you when Bush went to two wars with lies and no money to fund them? Where were you when Bush tax cuts gave us a balloon debt? Where were you when they leaked CIA name? Where were you when they started to torture? Where were you when their friends made billions from war contracting to their friends? Where were you when the country's economy was in brink of collapse? You may have your distorted views of the past, bu do not try to shove your views to the American people who do not share you views. You are a another rich dude who benefited from Bushes policy and will benefit huge from Romney's. Do not compare yourself to normal Joe. If anything your views are a hoax.
    As a normal Joe, I can only write to on these blogs and tell you what I think.

    September 7, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  13. B.

    Talk about a Hoax, Eastwood id a National embarrassment !

    Some people just do not know when to Get Off The Stage, What a hack..

    September 7, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. Jersey Girl

    @Darryl

    Clint sure seemed to get under the skin of all the liberals looking at the world through rose colored glasses....

    ==============
    No, we just feel bad that the RNC exploited this icon. But it backfired on them, too funny!!

    September 7, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. SABrown

    Is that something to brag about, being an "average Joe"?

    September 7, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. works4me

    Clint... take your own advice... a Man's got to know his limitations

    September 7, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. Bob

    What a sad end to his iconic career.

    September 7, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. paul

    Clint, please just stick to making movies. The Republicans took a chance on you because they hardly ever get the "hollywood" types on their side. Sorry to say, but once again, the Republicans made a bad choice for this speech.

    September 7, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. Ken in NC

    Clint Eastwood should not have given up his Day Job as an Actor/Director/Producer. He was more believable then. At the Republican Circus he shot everybody in the foot.

    September 7, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. marisombra

    He is right

    September 7, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. Debby

    Great man and I knew exactly what Eastwood was getting at with the empty chair.

    September 7, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. Christopher

    I think Bill Clinton pretty much made the case earlier this week for just who is the hoax. If you were targeting the middle- some numbers, facts, and history would have been nice!!

    September 7, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. Thomas

    hoax? Get a grip, eastwood.

    "tax cuts create jobs" is a hoax.

    September 7, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  24. Ms Lucky Ohio

    I am 53 yrs old and can't believe that there are some americans that believe it's okay for Presidents to take us to was on a lie and get americans killed by Al-Queda and Iraqis and spent 300+million a month on a war that we should have never been in. All while growing government (Homeland Security & Requiring citizens to purchase passports to travel to Canada & Mexico) it's like the 8yrs from the 80's with Reagan and the 8yrs from GW Bush and let's not forget the 4 yrs from daddy Bush where each and everytime there is a full out assault on the middle class and on women during each of there presidency's. You right wingers don't have to like Obama just like I never liked or voted for any of the above mentioned president's but I had to endure those years just like every other american. In the 60's most right-wingers were AGAINST MEDICARE and now their parents and maybe their grand-parents are on Medicare. As for Clint Eastwood I'll never ever look at anything regarding that man.... 82 and stupid.... America is not only for the rich or the privledge and the white it is for everyone.

    September 7, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. inathens

    Clint was cool and fun to have. It was a welcome change. The people who didn't like it are more moved by their emotional reactions to his slamming Obama. If this weren't so political, it would have just been a funny, improvised skit. But the sensitive Obama defenders can't see straight when their man gets criticized.

    September 7, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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