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. VstarGuy

    I believe the GOP made a huge mistake when they allowed Eastwood to speak at the RNC convention. Eastwood doesn't represent the hurting middle class in today's America.If anything, Eastwood represents the wealthy Hollywood crowed. What was the GOP thinking when they sanctioned Eastwood's appearance? I know one thing...Obama
    will win in Nov, 6th, 2012....I will be stunned if Romney wins.

    September 7, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. Eastwood claims that Obama started Afghan war

    How many of you Republiturds believe that?

    September 7, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Shannon

    We believe you Clint, sure the Romney campaign let you go out there with no idea what you were going to say.....right!
    Another Republican inapable of telling the truth.

    September 7, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. IndyIndependent

    I thought that the actor sitting in the chair next to Eastwood did a spot on interpretation of Obama. Empty chair = Obama. Brilliant.

    September 7, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. m

    This old nut is gone crazy – obviously he will never by invited again since he made a fool of himself and tanked Romney's speech even that was poor quality

    September 7, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. jhl

    Clint's use-by date has expired. May he go gently into the night.

    September 7, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. johnmenacherjr

    Ah the lefties! Damn i LOVE PEOPLE AND THEIR INCENDIARY STEREOTYPES Just tee's me off why are they always seeking a fight? They are the minority party and just because another American has a difference of ideas they are this creep called a lefty?? Shove it you nutbag right wing nazi so how does that feel smart ass?

    September 7, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Newt

    You guys should be more forgiving. Clint is just a confused old man, too rich and wrapped up in himself to realize no one cares what he says.

    September 7, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Eastwood is a horrible actor. he thinks he normal everyday american bur he is not. Obama will win in Nov

    September 7, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "For all you blaming the Repubs for this, you forget that the Dems controlled both House and Senate leading up to the recession and the first 2 years of BO's administration. Then during those 2 years while the economy was tanking , what was the focus? Health Care and Climate Change"

    A. The Dems, led by Barkney Frank, were trying to get legislation proposed and passed as early as January or February of 2007 to address what was already an impending and predicted recession. It was blocked...just like almost everything they Dems tried to do during 2007 and 2008 whle the GOP set records for filibusters and Dubya set records for vetoes.

    B. Kennedy had passed away by August 2009. With his absence beforehand and his passing, the Dems never really actually had a filibuster proof majority in the Senate. Moreover, the GOP did everything it could to challenge Franken's election in MN and prevent him from sitting in his Senate seat and adding his vote to the Dems. As a result, his absence compounded the problem created by Kennedy's illness and passing.

    C. Sorry, but the economy HAD ALREADY TANKED when Obama took office. It had already bled almost 800,000 jobs per month before he took office, to the tune of over 4.5M jobs total (again, BEFORE HE TOOK OFFICE) and continued to do so until the Stimulus was passed, at which point graphical representations of the monthly job losses show that there started to be an easing of the bleeding. We've now had 4.5M jobs created in the past 29 months.

    September 7, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. CosmicC

    The GOP likes to label themselves as the party of god and the party that wants to do away with social security and medicare. I don't see how they can have it both ways.
    "They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely." Mark 12:40

    September 7, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. Steve- Illinois

    Clint hit the nail on the head! Only thing that might have worked better would have been if he had an empty suit handy!

    September 7, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  13. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Oh, please, is he still talking to that chair? It's so sad.

    September 7, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  14. SPQR

    Mr. Clint Eastwood your comments are only 4 years too late !

    Where were you during those 8 years of the cause of everything.

    What you critzice right now Mr. Eastwood is called effect.

    I still think you make great movies.

    September 7, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. scott

    Barack Hussein Obama 2012

    September 7, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. DENNA

    @ – Eastwood claims that Obama started Afghan war

    How many of you Republiturds believe that?
    They all believe it because Fox News told them so. Truth has become a casualty of Republican party.

    September 7, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "What was the GOP thinking when they sanctioned Eastwood's appearance?"

    Let's play word association to show what they were thinking: white elder man former-mayor crotchety cowboy type with chip on his shoulder who will talk mean and tough about the uppity n......... that none of the right wing extremists and bigots want to have to call "Mr. President."

    September 7, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. Dana

    And this from the man who wanted nothing to do with G W Bush because he though he was to far to the right. Eastwood is supposedly a moderate but his appearance at this RNC says otherwise. These republicans and their Tea Bagging counter parts are the most extreme I've seen in a long time. Shame on you Clint, you're supposed to be above this 'fringe' crap.

    September 7, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  19. michaeljoseph

    Ohhh, Clint. Laugh it off all you like; shrug it away. The bottom line is that such antics were beneath you and your legacy. No matter your politics – and no matter whether you consider yourself a laid-back actor, rather than a stiff-lipped political speaker – you need to behave with more intellectual rigor and dignity on that big a stage. Period.

    September 7, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. Al

    Hey Clint,,,,,,,apparently you have had way too many "MAKE MY DAY" days. You made a fool out of yourself several nights ago. Romney makes a fool of him self every time he opens his lying mouth. If Romney is trying to become an actor, he will never be as good as you were at one time. Stay home, shut your mouth and enjoy life.

    September 7, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. DENNA

    @ – 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 doubt that your daughgter's employer laid off because of the healthcare bill. But any lie will do. OR YOU are making it up yourself. I have noticed that Republicans and their supporters are not hindered by the truth.

    September 7, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. slim

    Just burned and peed on all of the clint crapwood movies in the house. F him and the invisible horse he rode in on. Repukigans must go.

    September 7, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  23. silly me

    A average guy with a lot of money.

    September 7, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  24. ttt

    Yeah, the stool was just there. According to other reports, it was a planned. Apparently the GOP and Clint thought our nation was very economically sound after the Bush administration. What did you think was going to happen to our economy with a new president? Experts were predicting decades of economic woes.

    Wise decisions are being made for problems that have very little precedence. This is far from being over, so wake up and smell the economy.

    September 7, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. Peter

    "Barack HUSSEIN Obama is a Commie Muslim (how is that possible?), blah blah blah.....

    Yes yes. We know his middle name is "Hussein".

    Gotta try to scare the hayseeds, I guess.

    September 7, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
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