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. TJeff1776

    Over the years I watched the movies Eastwood played in with great fanfare. He should have remained there. I seriously doubt, in his feeble old mind, that he's able to recognize the present damage to his legacy. PITY.

    September 7, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  2. museumpreview

    I for one thoroughly enjoyed his speech and thought it was unique, funny, and brilliant. More importantly, he's right. Obama's is the biggest hoax ever on the American people. Let's everybody wake up now, we don't have to throw away our future, we can choose something better.

    September 7, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Curt

    "There they go again!" Unfortunately I'm a realist we are going to be making a U-Turn in November right back where we were 12 years back and not taking one step forward, in fact taking 3 steps backwards. Yes it's painful, yes it's going to be to our detriment and my kids and their kids, but unfortunately our President, my president will be cast out due to lack of our better nature and "Iwant it now" (aka spoiled child from Willy Wonka) society that we are. The President is the right choice we know it . No one likes the fake used car salesman smiley Romney but they'll vote for him. It's comparable after a bad storm lets not fix the electric lines let's just live off a gas generator at least I got my mine and damn the rest of you

    September 7, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. Lynne Bettles

    I think Clint is showing definite signs of dementia. Seriously.

    September 7, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  5. Curt

    puts us begging the Koch Brothers for a small piece of bread id what it will come down to too

    September 7, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. jnpa

    Seems like old Clint is just that...OLD, with a touch of senility! I did not find his routine humorous. Actually, I found it rather sad!

    September 7, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. us_1776

    Time to take away the car keys, Clint.


    September 7, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. Grumpy

    I thought the chair was far more entertaining. Still, it's a pity to watch such a wonderful actor/director fall apart in front of the entire world. His presentation certainly didn't make my day.

    September 7, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. Rose

    YAY! I love Clint Eastwood, it was a great speech and so funny with the chair talking. 🙂 He spoke out because he loves this country and wants the best for it.

    September 7, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  10. Samantha

    ...Clint was awesome during the RNC convention!! And he says the truth, Obama is the greates hoax ever perpetrated on the American people. Nobody knows anything about this guy in his formative years. Now we know more about Mitt Romney than Obama... go figure!! Romney has my vote !!!

    September 7, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. Dave

    Clint now sees Obama in every chair in his "Hogs Breath" Saloon.

    September 7, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  12. Gonetopot

    Obama and his cronies have ruined this country and must go. The DNC convention was a massive joke and it is clear to sane people that they will further drive us to socialism. I'm tired of hearing about how the Democrats represent 99% of the citizens in this country when all they represent is the far left agenda.

    September 7, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. billjdsm

    Clint Eastwood was on point and humerous. I really appreciated his wit and candid style to include his deep caring for our country. His speech resonnated positively with a lot of people.

    September 7, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. billjdsm

    Clint Eastwood was on point and humorous. I really appreciated his wit and candid style to include his deep caring for our country. His speech resonnated positively with a lot of people.

    September 7, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. billjdsm

    Clint Eastwood was on point and humorous. I really appreciated his wit and candid style to include his deep caring for our country. His speech resonated positively with a lot of people.

    September 7, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. linda

    This has to do with the job numbers and economy....I know everyone doesn't like the UNIONS and I am not a union member or never have been....but this is fact....UNIONS are the ones that set the wages for all companies....when they got good wages for their members the rest of the companies had to keep up with equal pay as the unions were providing their members....they had to keep up so their employees would be satisfied with their wages and not vote in the Unions....that's how non union compainies kept the Unions out by keeping up with union wage scale.....now that the Unions are under attack the wage scale has dropped and the non union companies aren't having to pay out the wages to keep up with the Unions......so the Unions not only helped their members it also help non union employees get better wages.....so if your complaining about lower wages....start supporting the Unions and you will see these non union companies having to increase the salaries of their employess...if the rest of this country votes in more Governers like Walker in Wisconsin and they vote the Unions out......your wages will be even worse

    September 7, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. little jack

    Liberals doing what they do best blame everyone!! No answers just blame. If obama wasn't such a great teleprompter reader and people were so easily fooled he would have no chance because of our country being in shambles. We need to save our country from destruction we need new Leadership and Romney can be that man.

    September 7, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. VistaPoint

    I support Pres. Obama. I saw Clint's speech and I had a great laugh. I think it was hilarious despite the rambling. People need to loosen up a bit. Clint is an old man and probably sits and talks to his chair, his dog, other things lying around in his patio all the time. I would be surprised if he even reads the newspaper or really knows what is happening in the country and what the President has done or not done. So as far as content is concerned, simply ignore it as being incorrect. But than again, none of the other GOP speakers where right either and where boring. Clint atleast was funny.

    September 7, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  19. KitKat

    Apparently Eastwood mistakenly decided that he hadn't discredited himself enough at the RNC.....

    September 7, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Jeannie

    Senility is a mother.... I still like his movies though.

    September 7, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  21. hubert39

    Ol' Clint is just another old rich white guy. When you are rich you lose all connections with the average American.
    Just like all Republicans are elitist. They look down on the average American. If you're not white get back.

    September 7, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  22. Sooz

    I thought it was brilliant.

    September 7, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  23. Clint Eastwood

    President Obama was sitting in that chair, laughing at me. I could see him plain as day. It was so real! Then I see the video afterwards and he hid somehow and made everyone laugh at me. Now, get off my lawn.

    September 7, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  24. bellenoitr

    Clint's going senile. He's embarrassing himself.

    September 7, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  25. Doug

    I think he was great - assuming that his goal was to mock the Republican party by exposing the complete denial of reality that underlies many of the criticisms of Obama.

    My favorite line was when he criticized Obama for getting us into Afghanistan (arguing that we should have consulted the Russians). Of course, this ignores the fact that Obama wasn't even in Congress yet, much less president, when we went into Afghanistan. Remarkably, this line generated considerable applause, highlighting that the current GOP is so blind in their hatred of Obama that reality has absolutely no bearing on their arguments.

    September 7, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
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