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. kate

    I am so disappointed with Clint Eastwood. If he thinks Pres. Obama is a hoax, I wonder what Romney will be if he is elected. He knows nothing about anything it takes to be Pres.

    September 7, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. Larry

    It is sad to see him this delusional.

    September 7, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. Adam D

    I disagree with Clint on the points. And his lack of preparation came through – same joke a few times. But it WAS well done. It WAS effective. Kudos RNC and Eastwood. For being extemporaneous – that was great !

    And I liked the tweeted response from DNC 'This Seat's Taken' 🙂

    A little levity is a good thing. People have lost their minds over politics. There ISN'T an obvious winner this election like there was last time. DNC is offering more of the same liberal policies. RNC is offering more of the same conservative policies. Pick your poison. Congress will logjam any progress anyway. Useless twits.

    September 7, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. John

    Come on folks, not all republicans are idiots. A majority elected GWB, and look at how much of an idiot he made the position of the President look. Who else but a republican would put food on their children?

    September 7, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. KL

    Like President Clinton said of the GOP convention. We handed you this huge mess, you have not cleaned it up fast enough so we want to fire you and put ourselves back in charge. Like W said. Fool me once shame on you fool me a.....well you can't get fooled again.

    September 7, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. LouAZ

    Have enjoyed a lot of Clint Eastwood movies over the years. Like all the other actors (including Reagan), without a script, they reall don't have much to say about anything. Clint is much better in movies than he is live in person.

    Only intelligent thing I ever heard from an actor is: Twas a woman who drove me to drink. I never had the decency to write and thank her ~ WC Fields

    September 7, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. Doug Jones

    I'm a big liberal, but I love what Clint said. Obama is a hoax. The first thing Obama said he was going to do as president was close Gitmo... Well he didn't. He said if he didn't do the job as president, he would be a one term president. He said he would cut the debt in half. Ummm he added 5-6 trillion and counting. The guy is the biggest fraud ever, but he has the media running smoke screens for him all day. What a joke! Wake up and quit drinking the kool-aid !!!!

    September 7, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. don7camillo

    Its funny how some of these politicians can turn on their emotions – notice how Biden acted – he gave Eastwwod a run for the money. The whole damn thing is a hoax. Romney seems to be the lesser of the two evils. Obama's party has taken into their head that the American's can be taken for a ride again. Dont let that happen.

    September 7, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. Terri

    Clint was correct in everything he said including Obama lying about helping the middle class. He hasn't done anything he promised in order to help the economy. I have been to 3rd world countries many times where the government takes care of everything. Those countries have been under socialism/communism for years and years and there is NO MIDDLE CLASS. There are haves and have-nots and most of the people are have-nots. Hundreds of people freeze and starve to death b/c they don't have enough food to eat or heat in the winter. Obama is only interested in HIS agenda and not the least bit interested in the middle class. If he did care about the middle class we should be in much better financial shape than when he took office. If you want to be one of those (and we are well on our way) then vote for Obama. The government will take GOOD care of you.

    September 7, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. UDidntBuildThat

    Ha! I love it!! All these hollywood lefties think they should be the only voice and all of the walked 10 miles in the snow barefoot b/4 making it.
    He is 100% right. Obama had no experience whatsoever to run this country. The media refused to vet him and threw Hillary under the bus who was much more qualified. Couple that with the soring rhetoric and everyone believed that Obama would make so they would never have to work to pay their mortgage, put gas in their car or pay for food. Ask Peggy Joseph. Obama was going to slow the tides and cool the waters. Everything he talked about last night was exactly what he said in 2008! They did not work and more and more people have given up looking for work. Is this what you want for this country and your children? Then keep voting for the biggest hoax on America, Obama!

    September 7, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  11. ART

    Fair is fair says devastating economic news, since when is adding and not losing jobs devastating. If you remember and to be fair what was devastating was the mess that was created by the former administration where over 700,000 jobs were being lost every month. Maybe Fair is fair is living in that alternate universe the Clinton was talking about or just plain unfair.

    September 7, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    The only hoax I saw was Clint Eastwood acting as if he had some sense. A pitiful ending to a brilliant career. Eastwood would have been better served to have stuck with acting/directing and left politics to others. He wasn't funny, he was disrespectful. Something he would resent if others had done that to him. I feel nothing but sadness for him now.

    September 7, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Ann

    "Please guys you have got to be kidding me. You expect Obama to go in and fix in two years what Bush screwed up in 8."

    First, Mr. Obama had 4 years not just 2 years. Second, he was supposed to understand 4 years ago that the economy cannot be fixed with slogans. Democrats were supposed to understand it too and nominate Hillary. Any other excuses?

    September 7, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. TAK

    Eastwood got out-acted by an empty chair.

    September 7, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  15. Lisa P

    In a way I'm glad to hear Clint Eastwood admit that he had no idea what he was going to say when he went out there. What I've got to wonder, though, is whether he has any clue now as to what he said? Most of it was just plain ridiculous.

    September 7, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  16. Jay

    Eastwood was great, I enjoyed it and got what he was doing and saying, most people are idiots and don't have a clue about anything anyway. Great job Clint!

    September 7, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. noAd

    I'll take Clinton over Clint any day of the week.

    And, whoever in the RNC allowed Eastwood on stage without vetting - in such a prime time moment - should be fired and never allowed to work in PR or communications again. That's what reps do, right? Fire people when they don't do their jobs. And this was a huge mistake; no doubt about it.

    September 7, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. UDidntBuildThat

    Deme Josoph–Because OBAMA is fixing what George BUSH left broken and his point man Chenney
    B/4 Dems took over Congress 2007, GWB had the economy booming. There was plenty of jobs. Unemployment was under 5%. When Bwarney Franks got hold of Fannie & Freddie and started to mandate loans go to everyone even if they could not afford the housing bubble burst 6mths after Franks said these risky loans were safe. CNN money reported record reveunes ever in the history of the IRS in 2006 under GWB. It was the last 2 yrs the mess occurred and right after the Dems took over. So both parties are to be blamed but it never took 8yrs to create this mess. As the truth tellers Bill Clinton, Obama and Dems say.

    September 7, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. ib42

    They have nothing else.
    No sign of a previous president cheering for the party, not one decent human being in the entire lot.
    "So, ladies and gentlemen, here's an old punk whisperer to give you more of what we don't have.....brains."

    September 7, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. jim

    Big mistake. As an actor/director, Clint of all people should know that actors need scripts. The GOP was willing to let him do his own thing, because they were hoping to cash in on his iconic position as this generation's John Wayne. In their calculus, they totally underestimated the potential for disaster.

    Clint has been and always will be one of my favorites on the big screen, but he would be better served to protect his legacy by sticking to what he knows best. I would hate for him to be remembered as a "confused old man", as opposed to be remembered for his Academy Award winning body of work.

    September 7, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  21. Brenda Morris

    Has my life improved since Obama took office? YES it HAS and so has my Husband's!! Social Security was frozen January 2008 until January 1st 2012 when obama finally got Congress to un-freeze it. As of 01/2012 all S.S. recipents received a 3.6% raise. We also now have a choice to buy Medicare or a Medicare approved Medical Insurance since Obama took office. Obama also improved on the Prescription Drug Insurance!! Obama's Team also tracked down and killed Osama Bin Ladin. Obama also passed equal pay for women doing the same work as men (Lilly Ledbetter Act)..

    September 7, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |

    A fitting delusional end to a delusional GOBP tea potty convention in Tampa. They deserve each other. President Obama kicked their butts at his convention.

    September 7, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. Doug Jones

    I'm a big liberal, but I love what Clint said. Obama is a hoax. The first thing Obama said he was going to do as president was close Gitmo... Well he didn't. He said if he didn't do the job as president, he would be a one term president. He said he would cut the debt in half. Ummm he added 5-6 trillion and counting. The guy is the biggest fraud ever, but he has the media running smoke screens for him all day. What a joke! Wake up and quit drinking the kool-aid !!!!

    September 7, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. ib42

    "'Ladies' and 'gentlemen', the g o p gives you more of what we don't have.....class and intelligence. We present.................... an old, doddering fool punk whisperer!"

    September 7, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. Ramjet

    What a jerk. Old men should have warm milk and cookies and then go to bed. It was way past his bedtime.

    September 7, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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