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. Scott

    Mr. Eastwood showed alot of guts going out to a live audience and ad libbing his talk from the heart. He is right in his views, obama is a hoax. The man is alot of hype with no real substance. I was amused watching the liberals listening to obama and looking like they were in a trance. I was wondering what Kool aid they were drinking to get so excited listening to these same old tired promises. If you read between the lines of his speech, the man has no clue how to fix the economy. I would rather vote for a man that has a proven record of turning around broken companies and organizations like the olympics than a man that give just a pretty speech. Wake Up and stop drining the obama kool aid! Its easy to proimise everything to everybody for votes, but it is hard to deliver on those promises.

    September 7, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  2. What is up with free speech

    strange that the moderator has to check out my comment of a whole five words....that is what free speech has become...so go ahead and make my comment for me.

    September 7, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  3. JT in NY

    The libtards don't like the truth Clint. Obama is indeed a fraud and an epic failure! This country has been turned into a boiling pot of hatred for one another thanks to the divider in chief. THANKFULLY, There won't be enough rabid messiah worshippers to get the AMATEUR re-elected!

    September 7, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  4. robert baca-bowers

    Let's see, an angry old white guy, way beyond his prime. rambles on, incoherently, about nothing, who depends on his Depends, is now seen as a top spokesman for the republican party. Really? This guy gets a 6 hour pass, with adult supervision, from his skilled care nursing facility to talk gibberish to an empty chair, and the republicans think that this guy is the greatest political mind of our time.

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

    Clint Eastwood is a brilliant actor and Great and Patriotic American. His performance at the convention was funny and yet profound. The attempts of Obama and the extreme left to smear Clint as some senile old fool is just disgusting, and the only reason they are doing it is because they know how effective he was at showing how absurd the Obama Presidency has become. This moring we got another terrible terrible jobs report that showed the terrible damage Obama's failed policies and failed Presidency have inflicted on our nation. For every low paying job create, there weren't many, 4 American dropped out of looking for work onto disability or welfare and foodstamps. 368,000 American dropped out giving us the lowest percentage of Americans working since the start of the Reagan Presidency, and the lowest percentage of adult men working since 1948. Yes, that's 1948!!! Obama has NO clue, and he didn't even offer a clue in his acceptance speech. Clint Eastwood had one of the best, and yet most serious and profound lines at the RNC. "When someone doesn't do the job we gotta let them go"!!!!

    September 7, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  6. S-Hug

    Clint Eastwood had one good movie: "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly."
    The movie also describes the progression of his life from youth to old age.

    September 7, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  7. Jeanie Sill

    Clint told it like it is. Obama is doing hasn't done his job as president. The economy is in the tank and 16 trillion in debt. Honestly people do you have to be smaked up beside the head or can't you see the writing in the wall. Four more years of no jobs and the only jobs that has been created are flipping burgers at your local McDonalds.

    September 7, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  8. aaron

    Eastwood is just another rightwing crackpot. He moved from the back of the line to the front with his insane litany.

    September 7, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  9. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    Dumb! ...because Obama didn't provide on his promises....and I thought Eastwood was intelligent, but he failed to recognize that there was not a normal recession, but it was two steps away from being a full blown depression....a big D! Of course that was only the beginning of all the little troubles the President took on. It was the Republicans who brought us this mess to begin with, and like President Clinton stated, they did care that it took the President too long to clean their mess up, so they want their jobs back so we the people can lose the rest of our Retirement accounts!! Don't forget the money you lost...I understand a lot of people had no money to lose, but the older generation did, and they lost their asses during Republican rule.

    September 7, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  10. Socrates

    Clint Eastwood..a great American. Something obama is NOT!.
    A simple man said comment this:
    Clint Eastwood..a great American. Something obama is NOT!.
    Can you explain to the us why Clint Eastwood is a great American?

    September 7, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  11. sdcvan

    OMG! Get Clint Eastwood and Victoria Jackson together!

    Would that be too dangerous? What happens when you place two anti-matters (as in they don't matter any more) together. The idiocy would be overwhelming, maybe? Would they implode? Would they make the entire radical GOP vanish?

    September 7, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  12. Thomas

    Imagine the level of outrage the right would display if the dems brought out an "actor" during prime time convention coverage in order to criticize a repub politician.

    September 7, 2012 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  13. Kareen

    Wow, Eastwood is ready for the Old Age Home

    September 7, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  14. beth

    The middle Class made him very very rich now like most hateful old white trash hes a self made manly man with nothing to live for

    September 7, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  15. fsjunkie

    There goes that age-wisdom theory right out of the window...again. Again, the Republicans learn the hard way about judging books by their covers...or people by their movies. This guy...like Mitt...thinks he represents "Joe Citizen"? Not even Joe the Plumber. Lol. He might be as out of touch as Mitt. What a horrible way to punctuate an obituary, Eastwood. This lefty won't waste a dime patronizing anything that has your name on it again. M O R O N

    September 8, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  16. Independent

    Why didn't my previous post get posted? Afraid it would hurt the feewings of the crybaby liberals? Too many of them are sulking and pouting and trying to diminish the legendary Clint Eastwood. You're a bunch of children who need to grow up!

    September 8, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  17. fsjunkie

    I didn't think it was possible for anybody attacking President Obama to make a bigger fool of himself than Donald Trump. BOY was I wrong.

    September 8, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  18. Bob MacKay

    Clint Eastwood is completely out of touch with middle class America. He is siding with the Pro-Rich/Anti-Poor Republican Party. That shows his indifference to struggling Americans.

    September 8, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  19. Lenny Pincus

    Yeah, multi-million dollar Joe citizen who has had seven children with five women–as far as we know–who forced his girlfriend to get two abortions and a tubal ligation, and who made a movie extolling euthanasia. Sorry, I don't need advice from this amoral bizarro.

    September 8, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  20. Rick

    So even Eastwood can't thnik beyond his next tax cur....what a doosh. How much money is enough Clint?

    September 8, 2012 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  21. Zil Zerimar


    September 8, 2012 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  22. txfansam

    You people are a real piece of work. Someone has a different point of view and they're either old, senile, washed up, racist or disillusioned. Nice, real nice, all of us have become. I'm sure Mr Eastwood is real torn up that you "lefties" won't watch any more of his movies. Real mature.

    September 8, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  23. garysb007

    Go Clint! Let the DimLibs go down in flames In Nov. OB is the worst president of all time.

    September 8, 2012 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  24. DixonIV

    There is a good reason that the parts Clint Eastwood play had very few lines. He said not all are on the left in Hollywood? Why would the right attack the job creators in Hollywood? I thought they were the ones who would save our economy.

    September 8, 2012 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  25. Awaal Oastad

    Clint Eastwood is a failure now. Was could have an American (and even a world) icon at one time, but now he became a trash now. He wants to have a momentum going so that he can one day become a congressman/senator. This guy does not have any guts any more. All he has to do is kiss Romney's As*.

    September 8, 2012 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
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