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. baca


    September 8, 2012 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  2. supercrook

    Dirty Harry made me really sick to my stomach by his act on stage.

    September 8, 2012 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  3. J.V.Hodgson

    Clint Please, "make my day." And do what you are good at, acting and directing films.
    As a politician you are a total failure. I thought you tried once a gave up but this speech such as it was just taught you again you're no use as a politician so "make my day" and STFU politicaly.

    September 8, 2012 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  4. Anonymous

    Clint said it right. Obama is an empty chair, icing with no cake. Obama is the worst president in history. Only Obamanites still support Obama who tries to divide Americans in a lame attempt to keep his job. He won't.
    America is tired of Obama and all his drama.

    September 8, 2012 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  5. John

    We all expected a lot better from the President , The only point here is it may not be the President but surly he must fire his advisers, the very folks that voted for the president have really been hit hard. High gas prices , people losing jobs , inner city kids no jobs , Sorry to say I voted for these people and its terrible. I had hoped that when the economy stayed bad that maybe there would be a Bill Clinton moment, The President needs to kick Harry Reid in the butt. I think he thinks he's in charge and has truly created a do nothing Congress,

    September 8, 2012 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  6. DW

    republicans, including the idiots that comment here, are ignorant a55holes that believe anything Fox "News" tells them and march to whatever orders they are given by FNC. Nothing, but weak minded, simpletons who are easy to fool. fwckin lemmings!

    September 8, 2012 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  7. Manabe

    Though this guy had more class that what he's showing right now! So disappointing! What a drip!

    September 8, 2012 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  8. Amanda

    Indeed, Obama is a hoax on the American people.

    September 8, 2012 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  9. Amanda

    I agree with Clint Eatwood. Obama is not real. Indeed he is a hoax on the American people.

    September 8, 2012 04:02 am at 4:02 am |
  10. John in Qatar

    I love how the lefties are blowing a gasket over this. Clint Eastwood is 100 percent correct, and deep down they know it.

    Bravo, Clint, on keeping your spot-on comments in the limelight!

    September 8, 2012 04:32 am at 4:32 am |
  11. myway

    This is one part Clint doesn't need on his resume. It certainly didn't qualify as Oscar material. Maybe he doesn't care what people think but he shouldn't tarnish his reputation with speeches that are being watched by more people than his movies. Bad carreer move.

    September 8, 2012 04:48 am at 4:48 am |
  12. carol derry

    I watched what I thought was someone who just had a TIA or transient ischemic attack which is an attack on the brain due to a small clot. He seemed truly disoriented and in need of medical care. The elderly can fool you with seeming cognizance when in actuality they are suffering an attack.I do hope his physicians are giving him a thorough neurological work-up.

    September 8, 2012 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  13. carol derry

    P.S. Scary facelift too!

    September 8, 2012 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  14. Tony

    Clint Eastwood is a genius! He improvised marvelously, speaking to Obama, who as the empty chair represented was Obama missing in action, Obama's empty promises, Obama just not there – as the stark empty chair!

    September 8, 2012 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  15. JORGE

    obama is the worst president EVER, an no one can ever deny it.What kind of a weaking imbecil obama is..he is indeed a total and complete HOAX, a FRAUD, afalse non-existent president who delivers nothing more than teleprompted speeches and that's it. he cripplppled the ecobnemy, is selling out america to foreign tyrannies and failed every promise he make in one way ot the other..and yet, his delluded retard supporters, think otherwise. 4 more yeras of obama in office mean only one thing: UNCONTROLLED DECADENCE OF AMRICA, ITS FINANCES, MILITARY AND POLITICAL POWER AN D THE DESTRUCTION OF THE MIDDLE CLASS!

    September 8, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  16. kathy/Minnesota

    POOR CLINT, I can't and won't slam him, he is an old man,just leave him alone.I'm sure he beleives what he says, so we all should just let it go,maybe if he were in a better frame of mind his opinion would be different.But it is what it is.........let it go,he is harmless,I'm sure he didn't "really" sway many votes.

    September 8, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  17. Obama Mama

    I found it hard to watch. Having a speech with substance or a plan must be hard to do, when the candidate does not have any plans. I just hope voters see thru Romney and know that the American voters will not let you run just on you don't want Obama in the office. Especially when your running mate is part of the problem, the do nothing congress. The jobs plan from Obama has set on Boehner's desk for the year. Romney has said he would create 250,000 jobs per month every month for 4 years, that has only been done 27 times since the 1940. sounds like inflation to me.lol Romney has no vision for the United states but give his vulture capitalist friends breaks and make the middle class pay for it. Not an idea any middle class person should entertain.

    September 8, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  18. Matha

    Suddenly senile? No. A poor actor all along. I actually walked out of one of his movies, back in the '80s, after c. 20 minutes. Why his movies were ever so popular & well received is beyond me. He seems to have matured nicely as a director, however. Conclusion? Keep Clint behind the scenes and off the stage!

    September 8, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  19. Timoteus

    As Clint said, Obama broke so many promises, but the lefties get emotional when this is pointed out.

    September 8, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  20. Anonymous

    The Democrats can't demonize anyone any more like they did with Palin.

    They can't demonize Ryan. It's exploding in their faces with Eastwood. Heck, even Akin is still alive!

    September 8, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  21. Hawkeye

    These posted comments clearly demonstrate why the Democrats are generally considered as the party of hate and fear.

    September 8, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  22. nytw

    I'll never understand why so many Americans care what movie stars think.

    September 8, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  23. roy

    Clint is only trying to make his day again before he croaks.

    September 8, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  24. stew

    I'm throwing his movies in the garbage .

    September 8, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  25. tdsd

    My God, what has become of my childhood hero?

    September 8, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
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