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

    I see he's trying to make an even bigger fool of himself.

    September 7, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. janetlaw

    Whatever respect I had for this talented actor/director is slowly spinning down the drain. He is now certifiably nuts.

    September 7, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. Anonymous

    The "lefties" laughed at you, Clint. They weren't enraged.

    September 7, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  4. glorydays

    He's old. Period.

    September 7, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. luke,az

    Mr. Eastwood, it's time for you to retire.

    September 7, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. KMC

    Average guy? Please. Come on Mr. Eastwood everyone knows how you feel .... you can stop spreading the hate.

    September 7, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. Tony

    Clint Eastwood broke his silence at the Republican National Convention. The Romney campaign wishes he hadn't.

    September 7, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. the Situation

    You already mad a horses, you know what, of yourself and you continue to talk. Will some ensure that this old man take is meds before talking.

    September 7, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  9. lolo

    Well he should have. He looked like he was out of touch just like Romneyhood.

    September 7, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. Jim (retired AF colonel)

    Clint was just one of many embarassments for the RNC. Biggest ones were Lyin' Ryan and Robot Mitt!

    September 7, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. TheDudeAbides

    So what did Eastwood offer, other than his opinion?

    September 7, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. buckhippo

    Clint is living proof that you can be an American Icon and an American moron at the same time.

    September 7, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. ricklondonsyndication

    I'm in the middle and if he was aiming at me; he surely was a much better shot in his spaghetti western days. His totally weird obscene diatribe was a horrible way to go out. He brought us so much delightful entertainment over the years; he should have done what wise actors do; slowly faded with grace from the public....he had to have the last shot, and his gun backfired.

    September 7, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  14. YUTroll

    "Obama's a hoax", said the guy who plays pretend for a living.

    September 7, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  15. Bob

    Even CNN got it wrong – the audience wasnt laughing with Eastwood, but AT him.

    September 7, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. israel

    clints getting too old, those on the left just felt sad for him when he was standing there talking to an empty chair

    September 7, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. fghjnbgjghnk

    you mean its halftime in america folks

    I'd like to thank the powers that be for all the pain and suffering to come

    September 7, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  18. Jimmy

    What a sad old man he's become. I'll bet Eastwood and Mel Gibson are close friends.

    September 7, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  19. buckhippo

    I will NOT be seeing his new movie. Don't want to give my hard earned cash to an actor who simply has no clue about what government is supposed to be.

    September 7, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. susan

    He must have been drinking. Everyone needs vettng

    September 7, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. 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 |
  22. The Unsub

    Did something else happen in Tampa besides Eastwood's "speech?" Why do Republicans HATE President Obama?

    September 7, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. Redmon

    Clint was colorful but thre was much truth to what he said. I think in the end the empty chair said it all about Obama and that is why he is getting such a strong reaction from the the liberals. Another four years of the empty suit and we are toast.

    September 7, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  24. Chris

    If he's still ticking in 2016 they should give him a couch to jump on.

    September 7, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  25. Anne

    Loved most of it. And Clint is right – 23 million unemployed is a national shame.(And my daughter just became one of them because her employer is downsizing to AVOID PROVIDING FORCED HEALTHCARE THAT IS TOO EXPENSIVE, thanks ObamaCrapCare!) Obama's had 4 years. I could have done without the profanity. But it is fun to read the kool aid drinkers here – just because he made a speech with a joke, that you feel misfired, doesn't mean he is nuts. But that is the way Hollywood likes to classify their conservatives – instead of disagreeing . .they classify and name call.

    September 7, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
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