September 15th, 2012
07:00 AM ET
10 years ago

In CNN interview, Eastwood stands by RNC speech

(CNN) - Actor Clint Eastwood says he does not care about the reaction to his stand up routine at the Republican convention, which drew more attention on the night Mitt Romney accepted the presidential nomination.

Eastwood spoke to CNN in his first television interview since the convention.

"One advantage of being my age is that you know what can they do to ya?" said Eastwood, 82. "You just have fun and do what you think and then you can say what you think, you don't have to edit yourself."

And the Romney campaign wasn't editing his remarks at the RNC either.

Days after the speech, he told a newspaper in Carmel, California - where he was once mayor - that he devised the improvised speech shortly before stepping onstage and therefore it could not be vetted as others' remarks were.

Eastwood ridiculed President Barack Obama, whom he imagined was seated in an empty chair beside him.

"What do you want me to tell Romney?" Eastwood asked. "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."

The speech appeared to go over well in the convention hall, and Romney's campaign called the remarks "a break from all the political speeches."

Eastwood cast himself in that light when asked to respond to the perception by some that his remarks were disrespectful.

"I'm not being disrespectful," he said. "I mean nobody wants to sit and insult people. Unfortunately, that's the way politics is … people are always insulting one another that have different points of views than one another."

"I only had one message and that was people look more than ... you don't have to idolize these people," he told CNN. "They're there to do a job for you. They're there to work for you. And if they're not doing the job, you have to evaluate that in your own mind. If they are doing it then you evaluate that in your own mind."

And as to his expectations of the government, Eastwood said, "I think there just needs to be more work done, actual work and less talk."

- CNN’s Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    He's a washed up elderly actor. What is he doing on the political page? Because he made derogatory denigrating comments about "THAT ONE"??????

    23 days to early voting in some states.

    Obama/Biden for a stable, sane way forward in these times of world-wide turmoil.

    September 15, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    Please do not entertain this abselete worn out movie idiots. Please. I am hardly watching movies.

    September 15, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Eastwood is not going to allow the dictator to make him back down! He is a Patriot.......and NOT a blind sheep following the leader.

    September 15, 2012 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  4. 200 TON HAMMER

    I get it mr eastwood you dont want too pay more in taxes,i get it you are a more rich then mitt romney

    September 15, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  5. Marie MD

    Thank you for continuing to remind us that a wooden chair beat the twit at his klan convention in Tampa :

    September 15, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  6. Kingsley Heyford


    September 15, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  7. luke,az

    "eastwood stands by his speech", are you sure he doesn't need a walker. He is a symbol of an aging,dysfunctional party.

    September 15, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  8. Happily Independent

    This is another example why entertainers need to stay out of politics. I look to them for entertainment. I do not want to hear their politics. His display at the Republican convention works in the entertainment setting. It does not work when in the political setting. He looked like an old senile fool. Eastwood go back to entertainment and stay out of politics. You hurt your legacy with your idiotic display.

    September 15, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  9. DocHollywood

    Sorry Mr. Eastwood, but age doesn't give permission for ignorance. You were disrespectful, and it was very beneath you as both an actor and a human. And the sad thing is that there are a lot of people who don't go to movies anymore who will remember you for this and not for your work.

    September 15, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  10. T'sah From Virginia

    That's right EASTWOOD – Go on – Make the Democrat's Day!!! As long as you stay in the news, the more RobMe/Lyan's poll numbers go down!!!

    Obama/Bkiden 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!!

    September 15, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  11. John Oboho

    He ought to tell us some other things he has been saying to the empty chair,or he doesn't have empty chairs at home?I believe the Republican party would gladly lend him one,or better still,let him have it for keeps.

    September 15, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  12. Reality for you

    Forget Eastwood for a minute and someone explain why CNN continues the race baiting with their headline about a black man who died of cancer for lack of medical care. Does make one wonder what the REAL facts are. Good grief! The last thing we need is more of the dividing, especially with what's going on around the world.

    September 15, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  13. ST

    Eastwood doesn't stand by RNC speech, he stands by his own speech interrogating the empty chair. Does this man don't think that was the craziness thing to do? Even the actors act while talking to people not to obstacles which do not give answers in return!

    September 15, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  14. Desmond, a Canadian

    Psychiatric patients are often enabled to talk to empty chairs, or to beat up on pillows or punching bags, to get things off their chest – especially when they do not have the balls, the truth or the intelligence to deal directly with the real people they should be speaking with. It is sad, what your GOP has come to.

    September 15, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  15. beevee

    Clint Eastwood once was probalbly a decent actor and a good director, but at 82 doing what he did at the convention he looked like a buffoon who is past his prime. At least he should have shown himself as a decent republican than a senile old fool.

    September 15, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  16. FedUp

    I agree Clint. Love ya!

    September 15, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. Gene

    Yes, keeping making a bigger fool out of yourself, Clint.

    September 15, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. GI Joe

    In Eastern PA, parts of VA, and FL, some republicans are writing elderly people telling them to send their driver's licenses back to THEM because their doctors have determined them too old to drive.

    If you get one of those letters, IT IS A REPUBLICAN SCAM. Do NOT SEND YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE TO ANYONE. It is your ID to vote. Voter suppression is alive and, sadly, thriving.

    September 15, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  19. Randy, San Francisco

    No post convention bounce for Romney/Ryan must be partially credited to Eastwood and political malpractice by RNC stage managers. It was a bizarre and mediocre RNC without soul or substance.

    September 15, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  20. tom

    Oh're a good actor and maybe even brilliant director....but you really need to stick to doing what you do best...that was a bizarre and embarrassing display. Made a lot of people wonder if dementia is creeping around nearby.

    September 15, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I had an uncle in a nursing home, who after a stroke, thought he sank the Bismarck. Clint will always be remembered by his new Indian name, "Talks to Chairs."

    September 15, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. Dawn

    You go Eastwood!! The president loves to surround his sorry butt with celebrities, playing golf and vacationing instead of running the country! He is sooo weak on foreign policy and will rum the great US into the ground. Don't whine later liberals as you will pay a hefty price if you re elect this disgraceful individual!! 4 yrs should be proof enough! WAKE UP AND SMELL THE PROVERBIAL COFFEE!

    September 15, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  23. enuff

    What's the problem? He did what he was asked to do... he got paid for it... he did the job he was hired to do. and now nobody idolizes Romney.

    September 15, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. Max


    September 15, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  25. Max

    Muddled up...

    Does anyone really understand what Clint is trying to say's kind of muddled up, isn't it? he's kind of muddled up himself, isn't he?

    September 15, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |