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. Wanderer

    Obama is not a dictator. He wanted to work with the GOP in order to fulfill his promises, but many Repub, Tea Party, and people like Mr. Clint Eastwood still have not realized about what the GOP has done? All they have been doing is making Obama a one-termed president and did everything they could in order to keep Obama from fulfilling his promises.

    September 7, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  2. Cat

    He may have irritated a lot of lefties, he says? Heavens, no. We're all still laughing! Bless him, we're just not laughing at the same thing he's laughing at.

    September 7, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  3. Cindy

    Eastwood does not even know what Romney's policies are. He is done! He needs to go the way of Charles Heston and his "cold dead hands." He was complaining about Obama not out of Afganistan, when it is Romney's plan to escalate that war.

    September 7, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  4. pthomas

    Minimally Mr.Eastwood should know his facts before goes on stage. Not only did he sound senile and crazy he was factually incorrect.

    September 7, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  5. bannister

    Everyone here hating on Eastwood is a total hypocrite. If Eastwood had appeared at the DNC instead of the RNC and made pretend that ROMNEY was sitting in the empty chair instead of Obama, the media and the left wing WOULD HAVE LOVED HIM.

    September 7, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. PEGGY


    September 7, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  7. Nick

    I've always loved and admired Clint but don't agree with him on his take of OBama...he's pathetic!

    September 7, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  8. Why do we

    Have to have 'Hollywood' support? They are actors for crying out loud. We'd be better getting a pro athlete to speak if we are going to do the hero worship thing.

    September 7, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  9. abbydelabbey

    Eastwood may have thought that he was funny but what he was was disrespect. He disrespected the Office of the President. He has totally lost any respect I had for him.

    September 7, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  10. nik

    Paranoia from the blue side? This is such a non-issue but I understand you worshippers are under a lot of pressure. Obama is in a tight race because of his bluster. Don't worry so much he will most likely win if he is convincing in his debates. These debates ought to be interesting. Swing voters by poll numbers want detail and both candidate better be ready with some detail because it appears that people that are not voting for personalities are voting on accurate policy information. Slice it any way you want there is a slim possibility there will be a new President. Both candidates do not want to make people suffer. And Clint Eastwood is just a successful 82 year old producer, writer, actor and composer who has earn his respect, Stop tearing down because of fear. His speech was just not so good.

    September 7, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  11. normajean @ verizon ,com


    September 7, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  12. carly

    Time for the old man to retire far far away. What a clown.

    September 7, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  13. Dixie Independent voter

    My sister-in-law, a religious nut case, has been sending me propaganda written by a minister who is an over-the-top Republican. I am going to be so so happy on election day to cancel out her vote.

    September 7, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  14. Independent

    Why are the Democrats so cranky this Friday evening? Is it because the job numbers report is out and looks bad and that is bad for their messiah, Obama? Do any of you Democrats when Obama said to Diane Sawyer in January 2012 that he "second guesses himself", "makes mistakes often, and "is learning on the job"? Obama is no leader. He is a clown. Democrats are angry because independents are fleeing Obama in droves. Look forward to November. Obama will have his clock cleaned. We need real leadership and Obama is not it.

    September 7, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  15. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." --B. Obama

    I agree with Clint. The uhbama is a disaster.

    September 7, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  16. Tell me it ain't so

    Watcha going to do Clinti if you were in the hot seat internationally? Be Dirty Harry and use big guns? The hardass
    approach works to entertain ... as in ENTERTAINER.

    September 7, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Obama is a hoax???? Now THAT's funny, Clint. Maybe you should have used that in your stupid act. We all know that Romney is the hoax. He's just going to help you keep your money and that's why you're supporting him.

    September 7, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  18. Kenny K


    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
    At the way Bush left things, your duaghter was on the way to become unemployed.

    September 7, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  19. GaryB

    Clint Eastwood is a multi-millionaire. According to the Republican party, millionaires and billionaires are the job creators. So shouldn't we be asking Clint Eastwood, Mitt Romney and the rest of the elitist country club crowd... Where are the jobs? They can't blame taxes... taxes for the wealthiest Americans are the lowest they've been in almost a century. They can't blame their bank accounts; net worth for the top 1% has far outpaced the networth of the rest of America. So I ask again Mr. Eastwood, where are the jobs?

    September 7, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  20. Michael Kelly

    Mr. Eastwood did an excellent Job with an old acting trick, and the numbers of incensed, sensitive leftists P amd M ing about it here is a demonstration of just how effective it was. He's right, Obama is an empty suit as symbolized by an empty chair, and needs to go back to Community Organizing i.e. Rabble Rousing similar to the KKK, and Obama is not even up to their level. Hope we can call his Failed Presidency what it is, and Fire Him. Oh, by the way, over 22 tons of Poisonous Gases found in Syria, and you Lefties said George Lied and People Died, sounds like WMD's were shipped to Syria from Iraq while all you Lefties were naysaying Bush, Blind aren't you!

    September 7, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  21. Michelle

    At first I wondered what Clint was doing. Then I found myself laughing out loud and agreeing with everything he said. He knew exactly what he was doing and he was brilliant!!

    September 7, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  22. dotheflippin'math

    Did Clint have any "honest" opinions about the freshman tea-partycons who blocked every budget and recovery bill Obama and the Democrats tried to push through Congress. Clint is a man of many words, but too few brain cells. This latest, patently offensive insult is his way of justifying his small-minded, racist views. Apparently, Clint only played a "good guy" in the movies. Real-life, he's just another rich Republican snob. "Average guy"... you gotta' be kidding me. Clint, you just joined Mel on my "do not watch" list. I enjoyed your movies much more when I didn't know you.

    September 7, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  23. calvin

    love reading the koolaid drinkers of the democrats. they are real backers of the good old democrats who love gays hate god can not stand people working for a living and hate the poor. the democrats who kill a baby before it took a hand in helping american

    September 7, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  24. The Left Wing

    The care that the Romney campaign took with selecting its speakers and the care that they took in planning his foreign trip lead me to believe that he isn't as careful as he should be. When you combine that and his economic plan that doubles down on the horrible Bush economic policies makes Romney a very, very unattractive candidate.

    September 7, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  25. liberal disease

    Love you Clint, one of the last originals! and when you have a new movie to do all of those Obama loving actors will line up for the payday and glory! they have no allegiances! they just want you to think they do!

    September 7, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
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