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. Lisa P

    Kind of funny the Mr. Make My Day thought that justice for 9/11 had to be hidden away at Gitmo because the big bad terrorists might get us if the trial was held where the crime was committed. So much for frontier justice. Mr. Eastwood, you have all the backbone of one of the townspeople in *High Noon*. It's Dirty Harry and The Man With No Name who are hoaxes, not our President.

    September 7, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. vivian

    He sounds like an idiot when he doesn't have a script written by someone else. "Go ahead, make my Metamucil."

    September 7, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Rogue351

    If the RNC made the choice to let anyone speak at the convention without first knowing what they planned on talking about, any bad press Eastwood may have generated is very much deserved. If Mitt is elected will he be as blatantly stupid in the decisions that affect all of us, as opposed to just the RNC ? Let’s hope not !! Actually let’s just hope he is not given the chance. As it stand right now it does not appear the GOP have given much thought to anything they plan on doing if elected. At least Obama has some sort of a plan. Even if you don’t agree with it, a plan is better that just winging it as proven by Clint Eastwood. I would really like an explanations as to what exactly the GOP intends on spending 2 trillion dollars above what the pentagon as even asked for ? Sound like they are either going to pay back some promises made during the donation phase of the run for president with military contacts or they are already planning the next war they will most certainly get the USA involved in.

    September 7, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. SuzieQ

    You don't think that job numbers can't be manipulated by the Greedy Old Pig party ? I am simply shocked ! 🙂 The corporations spending obscene amounts of $ to overthrow Obama have more power than Congress, Supreme Court, and the POTUS put together. I suspect that those job numbers will look even worse as we approach November. The Koch bros, Adelsons, Murdochs, & the rest of the fat cats will continue sending our jobs overseas with a wink and a smile regardless of who sits in the White House AND yes, they can twist any rules, maneuver around regulations, rig numbers with the intent to OWN YOU. One president can't do it all if he has a Congress whose sole purpose from day 1 was to overthrow him.

    September 7, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. Greg

    I'm going to bet that regardless of how much longer he lives, Eastwood will never be invited to speak at another Republican Convention. The chair was no emptier than his mental state! As an Eastwood fan, it was difficult to see the man make a complete and total fool of himself!

    September 7, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. BlackDynamite

    Clint needs to stop[ being a hypocrite

    Obama is no more of a hoax than Clint was last week in Tampa.....

    September 7, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    Agreed. Whole-heartedly.

    September 7, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. SuzieQ

    Clint Eastwood's schtick about the chair thing was both funny and sad at the same time. He "needs to make my day" ...by riding off into the sunset:)

    September 7, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  9. Michael

    Clint Eastwood..a great American. Something obama is NOT!

    September 7, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. Carl

    I used to respect him but no longer. I have watched my last Eastwood film. Mind you I hated and avoided his early spaghetti westerns which have had an awful influence on my little island Jamaica.

    September 7, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. Joe

    Clint Eastwood reflects what the Republicans have become, a party that appeals to the lowest common denominator – white trash. He's not even a good actor unless you're a redneck and are entertained by his bravado BS. Stay in Carmel and keep drinking your whiskey Mr. Eastwood. You're a tired and angry old drunk!

    September 7, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  12. DENNA

    @Adam – I am sorry that your wife lost her job. I was luckier. I was allowed to retire with benefits. I am a little too young for Medicare, but I am seriously grateful for what I got. I tend to be conservative, but I cannot, in all good conscience call myself a Republican. I think the Democrats, my party of choice come closer to actually listening to ordinary people. God bless you and your wife.

    September 7, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Clint is an ass!

    September 7, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  14. Ireportwo

    Clint looks really bad right now. I use to admire him. Now he just looks like he has lost his marbles!

    September 7, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. phoenix86

    Eastwood was spot on. Obama is a hoax.

    September 7, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  16. kevin lanigan

    I keep saying people saying Clint is a great American. Why?

    September 7, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  17. skarphace

    It is too bad to see someone of this magnitude slide so quickly into senility.

    September 7, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  18. angryblackman

    Totally lost all respect for the man. Like Charlton heston before him, his view throughout his life and shown in his work are totally opposite what comes out of his mouth. He has broken through the veil and revealed to me who he truly is and I will no longer support any of his work. I will be unable to watch his movies now without thinking of him as a cranky old white guy made at the world.

    September 7, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. bleedsnyblue

    Clint's an icon, and his heart is in the right place. Of this, I have no doubt. But running a country, especially one that was as damaged by graft and corruption as this one after the chickenhawks and the weasels took over the hen house and dumped our economy to the war profiteers, isn't the same as being mayor of a sleepy bedside community, and Dirty Harry was passe years ago. If he thinks Obama is a fraud, he hasn't looked at RMoney or Ryan's records nearly as closely as he should. Maybe he's not quite as astute as I once gave him credit for. The Man With No Name wouldn't have taken the backs of the same town "leaders" that left him to die so they could loot the gold that wasn't theirs.

    September 7, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  20. Fred

    Joe Citzen? Really? Yes Mr. Eastwood, no one knows who you are when you walk into the room. Just like none of the people at the RNC could finish your line when you said: "Go ahead..."

    September 7, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  21. packerfans

    Vote for Mitt ROMENY!!!!

    September 7, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  22. manhandler1

    Clint Eastwood....The "Hoax" is in your mirror. Get lost.......You're pathetic.

    September 7, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  23. James AL

    I think Eastwood needs to be quite now. He is making himself and Romney/Ryan look worse. The president is a "hoax!" who does he think stopped the freefall of our economy? Who does he think ordered the attack on Bin Laden? Who does he think ended the war in Iraq? Who does he think saved the American industrial icons? How does he think we gained 4.5 million jobs in the last 29 months? Those things did not happen without leadership. Just so happen Obama is the leader. As to not fulfilling all of his promises, some things had to wait because he was busy cleaning up the republicans mess. Thank God he did what he did!

    The hoax is Romney Rich and lyin Ryan, although both are complicit in blatant lying.

    Eastwood fade away gracefully and do not turn into a biggot.

    September 7, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  24. Joe

    Just go home Clint. Please !

    September 7, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. Debbie

    Poor Clint. So many people made fun of his RNC speech that he felt the need to defend himself in the Carmel Cone. He truly embarrassed himself on stage and looked like a fool. Clint thinks he annoyed the "lefties" and they are the ones making fun of him. WRONG. Talking to a an empty chair? Clint, did you see the shock and horror on the faces of the Republicans in the audience watching you? Clint said Obama is a hoax on the American public. WRONG. His hands were tied by the Republicans. Clint says Obama didn't fulfill his promises. What president has? I bet Clint has broken promises in his lifetime. I will never watch a movie that Clint makes or directs. His voice has become difficult to listen to anyways!

    September 7, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
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