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. Rudy NYC

    Palin: Kerry 'diminished' by mentioning her name
    Has anyone else noticed how bass ackwards dumb that remark really is?

    September 7, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Fidup

    Thanks for your comment, good to hear sound judgement for a change.. Clint Eastwood was absolutely correct, the Truth will set you free..

    September 7, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. LisaT

    Methinks Clint helped the Democrats with his speech way more than he helped the Republicans.

    September 7, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. Fidup

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama
    Hopefully Obama won't give your TV to your neighbor or cut in half, just so we all have the same, like in Cuba..lol. How about those Giants...

    September 7, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. Alaskatrailrunner

    I love how conservatives freak out whenever someone offers a different opinion to the one they hold. They call us names, they make fun of our commitment to human rights, they laugh at our concern over government telling women how to handle their private lives – and THEY say they want less government? No – they want government to do their bidding, but they want complete control over what the rest of us do and say and think and feel.

    Nobody could have handled the economy better than Obama did. Nobody could have kept us safer than he did. You think McCain would have us out of Iraq? Think again. You think McCain would have rescued the economy? Give me a break.

    You think Romney's going to do better? He closes down businesses – he doesn't build them up. He sends jobs overseas – AND he hides his own money overseas so that nobody knows exactly how much he's hiding. He's proud of not paying his share of taxes, of hiding it, and refusing to release but ONE and A HALF years worth of tax return... Obviously, he's hiding something of great embarrassment to his campaign.

    You call this clown a patriot??? Clint Eastwood must think that, or why would he defend this guy? Imagine – Clint Eastwood stumping for a rat like that. It's unbelievable. Imagine people thinking that, "Well, if Eastwood feels that way, so should we." Pathetic.

    September 7, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    steeler1nation wrote:

    Ken-ya all guess which country our lowly president was born in?
    Obituary too much.

    September 7, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    What is amusing is all the people who seem to think Obama is a hoax....does that mean he really is not the President, that someone else has been pulling the strings? Who is it now? Saul Alinsky? The Trilateral Commission? The Freemasons? Osama Bin Ladin? Reverend Wright? ACORN? What day of the week is it for the paranoids that run the GOP( If I were like WiredWierdSF, I would throw in a reference to dope)? The only hoax is will be if Romney gets elected with the thinnest public service resume in history, and a blind trust filled with commissions earned by outsourcing jobs to China and India. That way, the righties' complaints about government will become a self-fulfilling prophecy of incompetance and corruption on a scale that will make W's administration look as pure as the driven snow.

    September 7, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Suzy

    Lucky for Eastwood he has money. He doesn't need Social Security, or help on his medical insurance or even have to worry about nursing homes. He is old and starting to show signs of dementia but he can vote afford to vote for 'Borrow money from your parents' Romney.

    If he lived In the real world, he would vote for Obama. But like I said, like knows like and Romney only cares about those who have money. Lots and lots of money.

    September 7, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Thinkstr8

    The DNC outclassed all the pathetic antics and speaches that occurred at the RNC. The most striking difference was the RNC is all about me whereas the DNC is all about us.

    September 7, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. BD70

    Clint Eastwood – bhwahahaha – and of course he knows its not his future he is trying to give away.

    September 7, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. Shaolin Sword

    I just think its awesome that there is a newspaper called the carmel pine cone. Regarding Eastwood, I think its a pretty sad commentary on Romney's leadership style when someone can just go up and say "I'm doing whatever I want." If you can't handle and 82 year old man, how can you handle despots? I'm not voting in this direction, sorry.

    September 7, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. PB

    There is no way to spin this pathetic President any longer. He is not only so over his head the whole Democratic idea of more Government as a way to equality and prosperity is ignorance that I guess you would expect from the type of people that vote Democrat on fiscal issues. I used to see Democrats views on social issues as somewhat reasonable but even there the extremism takes over and they take it to far. Any way you slice the jobs, the debt, the welfare state they have created in 4 short years is oustounding. I am no Bush lover but this guy makes him seam like a genious. Never though I would say that.

    September 7, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. Canuck Observer

    I agree on one thing with Eastwood,.. get rid of any politician that's not doing his job,.. so Clint,.. when are you gonna start demanding all of the GOP congress obstructionists be voted out,.. or are you being selective?.. Clint has sold out,..i thought he had more sense than this.

    September 7, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  14. Sharolyn

    Yes, can someone tell me why... the President stood up in his closing and said, God bless the united States and did not add, Of America? I have never in all my years, heard a President say that.
    And the statement made, that we have some some Nation building to do here. what's up with that?

    September 7, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. carrie

    xpalin all they want , it was awful and Clint will no longer make my day!

    September 7, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  16. sweetpeach

    I liked what Clint said, and agree with him. Obama is a puppet, others got him in and are pulling the strings. No, I don't believe he is a US citizen either.

    September 7, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  17. James

    Eastwood is a great actor, love his movies, but wow, that was a pathetic speech. Those who hate Obama beyond rational reason will love any "speech" that sides with their views, but I don't think you'll find many of us independents who will be swayed to vote Romney for it. Obama has disappointed me many times, but he's the only one who seems to even be trying to accomplish anything positive. There are many legitimate reasons to criticize Obama, but holy heck, cut the man a break once in a while, he has made some real accomplishments. Let's hear some alternate ideas instead of just bashing Obama.

    September 7, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. AgrippaMT

    Poor old Clint is getting senile just like Charleton "Moses" Heston did.

    September 7, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. Martha in CF

    To Sharolyn
    You are making something out of nothing,,,,,Obama has said the United States of American many times. I think maybe you didn't hear of America at the end with all the noise applauding our President. Golly

    September 7, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. felix

    He should have had Romney's people go over his speech. It sounded more like ramblings of an old man. Love you Eastwood, but that was just weird.

    September 7, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. gmenfan54

    The "empty chair" matches the "empty heads" in the audience.

    September 7, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. stephen l. walkinshaw

    Clint, you might find the biggest hoax on America if you look in a mirror.

    September 7, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. maddog

    I'm in the middle Clint and the only thing you convinced me of is that you're an old man.

    September 7, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. Capone

    Eastwood's speech was liking watching a train wreck. I actually felt bad for him. I know from watching interviews that he has done that he is intelligent, but that night he just came across as senile.

    September 7, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. ABMiller

    Good job Clint, you really got 'em in a lather today...

    September 7, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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