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. works4me

    Geeze Clint... did you fire six shots or was it only five?

    September 7, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  2. geo

    I used to like Clint Eastwood but I am losing respect for the man. Maybe I will try and attribute it , to his age. First of all , I am a democrat. Want to qualify that. Not mad at Eastwood for his politics. He has every right to his opinion. I do think he is being classless, even after Obama said he likes Clint Eastwood. Disagree with President Obama all day long; Please show some dignity and stop with these personal attacks on our president and calling him a hoax. Our country needs better than this.

    September 7, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. Obama2012

    Bin Laden is Dead! GM is alive! This is NOT AN HOAX!!!

    September 7, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  4. Shaolin Sword

    “President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” Eastwood told The Pine Cone this week"

    Before last week, I would have thought that was a mad lib. Instead, it's a man who is mad at libs, or maybe just plain mad.

    September 7, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  5. Dana

    Brilliant Clint! People can't stop talking about you. Objective met. Another case closed for dirty Harry.

    September 7, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  6. Woman In California

    Two words: white trash.

    September 7, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  7. DJ Reality

    I used to have respect for Clint Eastwood but now I think he is gone nuts like Robert Blake. It is a shame to see these former hero's mentally fade away as they get old. I makes me worry about my parents how are in their mid-eighties. He rambled on so and then tried to make a joke that only belonged in a school yard or bar. It was sad to watch him. He looked like a shell of the man he used to be.

    September 7, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  8. Derak

    I noticed that the first set of pieces on Clint's speech only included a few lines and much commentary on Clint being incomprehensible. Once I found a story with an actual transcript, I thought it was pretty funny and saw the point Clint was trying to make. Then I found the actual footage of the speech and, once I started laughing, I could hardly stop.

    I think it is quite likely that most of the people reading the commentary on Clint's speech are dems who would not have watched anyway, and while it is not required for the journalist to actually link or show or transcript the speech the journalist comments on, I don't think these journalists want you to see Clint's performance at all. Perhaps if people saw the speech, they would find themselves agreeing with Clint more than not.

    Anyone who is happy with the state of the economy now or thinks that 0bama kept most of the promises he made is either in an alternate universe, like Debbie Schultz, or is a millionaire at GE or microsoft, or is union member laughing at all the non-union people laid off so that you keep your job and demand more benefits.

    September 7, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "I guess if someone doesn't agree with your views you just simply call them names!"

    You mean like "socialist" and "commy" and "muslim" (which we know is a derogatory insult to your way of thinking) or "unamerican" or "libtard" or "kenyan" (same as the muslim thing), etc.? Those kinds of names and labels?

    September 7, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  10. Dan

    Clint Eastwood is an old fool who made an ass of himself. Embarrassing. The actor apparently forgot all his lines, and politically he didn't know what he was talking about. And now he continues. Call 1-800 NURSINGHOME.

    September 7, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  11. Bill55

    The reason that the GOP will fade is because people with the Eastwood mentality will die off by the thousands. It's happening as we speak. Younger folk will not tolerate the lies and misspeak of the GOP. They will not tolerate minimum wage jobs the Romney/Ryan/Koch ticket approves either.

    September 7, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  12. citizen9

    Clint is next door neighbors to Earl Holding at Sun Valley Golf Course. Earl owns Sun Valley Lodge & Resort ski area, Sinclair, Little America Hotel ect,ect...worth about 4 billion. The Federal Government gave Earl 1277 acres at Snowbasin to build the ski venue for the 2002 winter olympics that Rmoney managed. Orin Hatch worked thru another bill for the Federal Government to also spend 1.2 billion for access and infrastructure improvements that greatly enhanced Earl's gift from the government. Don't tell me the Republicans don't love Guvment Handouts.

    September 7, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  13. Jeni

    Best part of the article...

    "...he told the Carmel Pine Cone."

    September 7, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  14. Michael Danahy

    Disrespecting the President, is not cool. Sad old Clint showed his true colors and it was unfortunate. He appeared senile, angry and lost. And the crowd loved it. Proud to be a Democrat and Obama supporter. Clint – someone get the hook. Toast. He'll always be the fumbling old actor who made a fool of himself. Sad.

    September 7, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  15. BeverlyNC

    Clint- you're not the man I thought you were if you could actually support the fraud, lying, tax cheating, most dishonest Republican candidates in my lifetime. Candidates who plan to kill Medicare, Medicare, and Social Security. Plan to kill education and you would think you would care they thay plan to also kill all funding for art, music, PBS, and every other program relevant to the industry and world that made you a star. Shame on you. I guess because you are riich – you could care less what will happen to the people who used to think you were a human being. You made a fool of yourself and of Romney and Ryan.

    September 7, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  16. xfiler93

    He is right. Matt Damon, a vapid libturd as well, says the same thing. Pathetic.

    September 7, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  17. Bob

    I could'nt imagine getting up in front of a few million people and not knowing what I was going to say beforehand. I saw a chair and decided to use it? Good think Big Bird was not back stage. Unbelievable. Sad. Let me say if I was in the Romney camp no one gets up without me knowing what they are going to say prior to the even (with maybe and exception like Bill Clinton). How do you coordinate your message? Oh wait. It wasn't. So if Mitt plans on running the country like the convention folks should be more than a little worried.

    September 7, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  18. jma58

    He needs to stick to acting or go to the nursing home.

    September 7, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  19. guest 99/1

    Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
    So they want us to think stupid. So they
    want us to feel stupid. That's how they
    want us to be.
    Burning Spear

    September 7, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  20. Alan

    I thought it was a class act Clint! 23 million out of work and the liberal cry baby minorities, who want a free handout for medicare, medicaid, and unemployment on the backs of those of us who work! I love what Clint said, which most of you morons missed... "If he doesn't do the job, it's time to go." Bye, bye Obama most of us with a conscience and a work ethic won't miss you a bit. If the Demoncrats had any sense, they'd run Bill Clinton. At least he knows his numbers and can manage a budget. Time for a successful business man in the White House! Vote Romney/Ryan.

    September 7, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  21. Truth Squad

    CNN.com proves once again it caters to the lowest common demoninator, liberal kool-aid drinkers. No sense of balance at all.
    Jay Leno said a few months ago that he admired Republicans for having a sense of humor and ability to laugh at themselves, while Democrats were too touchy and easily offended.
    Look at the top liberal pundits: Maher, Stewart and Colbert (somewhat Letterman too), all comedians. Liberals LOVE to laugh at other people and pretend they are the sensitive ones.
    I hear liberals talk all the time about wanting down to earth and relateble people to run for office, but when they do speak or run, they are eviscerated for not being polished.
    Let's be honest left-wingers, you want the polished sophisticated politician who knows how to tell you what you want to hear, not an honest, possibly rough around the edges, possible even lived a rough life person.

    September 7, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  22. MiddleClassCitizen

    Clint Eastwood, you made my day! "When Somebody Does Not Do The Job... You've Gotta Let Them Go"

    September 7, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  23. chris_n_sd1001

    Lighten up, people, come on! I have never seen so many humorless comments. Eastwood's own statement:
    "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."

    We have been listening to scripted speeches for too long, I want a leader that can relate to me and the "common man".
    There are 25 million "common people" in unemployment lines. What happened to hope?

    September 7, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  24. tim

    wow. the obot fanboys have really shown their true colors once again.

    wow. the politics of personal destruction lives on.


    September 7, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  25. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Clint Eastwood was very convincing. He convinced me that my decision to vote for President Obama was definately the right decision. Eastwood was a great representation of the lack of intellect in the current day republican party.

    September 7, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
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