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. cory

    Clint Eastwood was scary. Romney and Ryan are scarier. Folks like Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck and scarier still. But scariest and sorriest of all are the millions of mean, crass, cold-blooded people who love these guys and hate anyone who stands up for those who are abused, robbed, discriminated against, and left in the dust.

    September 7, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. Nate

    Clint is the man. At 82 he cleverly delivered the message that Obama has failed and it's OK to let him go. The left is angry because they thought they had a monopoly on hollywood.

    September 7, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. DVA

    Eastwood said he knew what he was going to say? I don't think he did. Reminded my of Pee Wee Herman talking to "Miss Chairy", little blue chair with eyes, At least Pee Wee's chair was cute. Actually Clint, you did "Make my Day", by speaking for the Republicans and not the Democrats.

    September 7, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    WMDs a hoax...mission accomplished a hoax. Just ask the puppet/muppet Iraqi government! The country has been destablished for generations to come! The GOT controlled House creating jobs for the American people a hoax. Romney's tenure as governor of MA a hoax. Romney paying taxes for ten straight years a hoax. America being better off without the auto industry a hoax. His assertion that MA wasn't 47th in job growth a hoax. And by the way, the chair in the Oval Office, the one that really counts is occupied because it says President of the United States of America! That's no hoax!

    September 7, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. cigarman

    I thought that Eastwood was funny, his speech would have gone over great on Leno, Letterman, ETC. I am for Obama all the way, but you have to admit that a little comedy is O.K. That goes to show that the Republican Party is not serious enough to have any of them put back into office.

    September 7, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. the truth

    Obama is a bold faced lier......taking out a credit card from china..........6-7 trillion in 4 years......thats change for ya.

    September 7, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. 1twinsfan

    Wait a sec - Eastwood made the infamous halftime commercial for Chrysler, the auto company saved by the loan from the Obama administration. One could make the case that Eastwood earned a paycheck thanks to Obama's policies. No Chrysler, no commercial.

    September 7, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. Dannytelevision

    Dear Clint...one word...ARICEPT

    September 7, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. RegRepub

    And Mr. Romneys actual solutions to fix the economy are????? Yeah thats what I thought... It's called an empty suit.

    One way or the other, President Obama helped steer the U.S. economy away from the depression it was heading toward (and a reminder for the people who like to use the phrase libtard, the recession and the near depression was actually a result of 8 years of my Republican Partys theories and actions in the government and the corporate private sector) The fact that we are still strugling with jobs and the overall economy is a direct result of the unwillingness of senators and congressmen/women to actually put the interests of the average American before their party and personal interests. Mitt Romney is not the lesser of 2 evils, he is another George W. Bush (cut from the same priveleged cloth). The fact that a former Republican President was not at the GOP convention spoke volumes to people who are intelligent, as for the other half of America you wouldn't understand facts if you were beat to death with them. As Americans we need more choices on voting day, not just 2.

    As for Eastwood, if anyone basis any opinion on the words of an actor their IQ level is probably on the lower end of the scale. That's why they get paid to do it for living, it looks convincing.

    September 7, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. Russ in Md

    @Big_D
    A president can not start a war. It is Congress that starts wars and both parties overwhelmingly voted: YES. Your name is now filed in the 1D10T folder.

    September 7, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. MaryM

    Poor Clint, I do feel sorry for him. And the only hoax are the repubs trying to LIE and BUY an American election.
    Romney campaign said " We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers," . Republicans support a party that admits they are pathological liars

    September 7, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. lobo joe

    Since when does expertise in cinema art equate to expertise in economics and politics? Willard, where are the tax returns?

    September 7, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. Ron

    That is the last Clint Eastwood movie I will ever watch "Dead Man Talking"

    September 7, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. Vic of New York

    Yo, Clint Eastwooooooood: "You made my day ! ! !"

    September 7, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. Ron B

    Clint is an old white man who is rich and has NO idea of what the middle class deal with.... He really should go back to counting his money and shut up

    September 7, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. Orso

    They had to ask Clint to speak at their convention even when they did not know what was he going to say because they are running out of celebrities to support them. I like Clint, he makes decent movies, and he was my cowboy hero when I was growing up, but he should stick to movie making, politics is not his strenght.

    September 7, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. Jack in Florida

    So sad when actors don't know how to exit gracefully on their accomplishments. Instead they keep embarassing themselves, the older they get.

    September 7, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. n

    As I turn away, I am reminded that time is unforgiven and the reality of Clint Eastwood is a rude awakening.

    September 7, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. buffalo

    Clint's next film will be "Grumpy Old Man-A Fistful of Coupons".

    September 7, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. RegRepub

    Sorry, " That's why they get paid to do it for a living, it looks convincing."

    September 7, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  21. dsatino

    I'm an independent and I love Eastwood in general. And, yes, I understood he was ad libbing from just about the start. I thought it was going to pretty cool, but let's be honest, it was pretty painful to watch. He came off as a bumbling alzheimer's patient.

    September 7, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. Eddie The Barber

    Sure – just throw the guy out there and let him do his thing and we'll worry about the consequences later! That is also known as "shoot first and ask questions later" which is a perfect analogy for the Romney campaign and it's a snap shot of what a Romney presidency would be like, and let me include: Incompetent with lots of fact hiding and lies.

    The choice couldn't be clearer – Obama in 2012 – or Disaster for 4 more years.

    September 7, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Clint was awesome! He was funny and telling the truth. He scares Democrats. People also forget he is one of the only Hollywood type that avtually held a public office, Thank you Mayor of Carmel California. He is a multiple Academy Award Winner! Lets see what you can do and how you look at 82 years old.

    September 7, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  24. Orso

    They had to ask Clint to speak at their convention even when they did not know what was he going to say because they are running out of celebrities to support them. I like Clint, he makes decent movies, and he was my cowboy hero when I was young, but he should concentrate on movie making, because politics is not his strenght.

    September 7, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. Russ in Md

    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!!

    +++++++++
    Ya you're right. Sometimes reallity and the truth can backfire. I guess that is why liberals never use that tactic.

    September 7, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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