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Clint Eastwood: No Regrets Over Convention Speech Clint Eastwood: No Regrets Over Convention Speech

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Conventions 2012

Clint Eastwood: No Regrets Over Convention Speech


Actor Clint Eastwood speaks to an empty chair representing President Obama at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.(Ralf-Finn Hestoft)

Clint Eastwood has no regrets over his now-famous 12-minute tirade to an empty chair at the Republican National Convention, the acting and directing icon said in an interview with the Carmel Pine Cone.

Eastwood said the spontaneous nature of his speech was intentional, and that he felt it resonated with independent voters whom he strongly urged to back Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.


“President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” Eastwood told the local California newspaper in an article published on Friday. “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.”

He continued: “I had three points I wanted to make: 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. But I didn’t make up my mind exactly what I was going to say until I said it.”

Eastwood baffled many convention-watchers last week after directing a speech to an invisible Obama, criticizing the president over his economic policies and the war in Afghanistan, among other things. Eastwood said Romney advisers tried to find out what the actor was going to say, but were unsuccessful.


“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,’” he said. He later said that he doesn’t “know how to” give speeches, and hates using a teleprompter.

So, what inspired the empty chair idea? Eastwood said the idea came to him in the green room before taking the stage.

“There was a stool there, and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down,” Eastwood said. “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.'''

Several speakers at the Democratic National Convention poked fun at the speech, inspiring a new trend called "Eastwooding." Eastwood, however, said the crowd “ate up” the speech and was pleased with his performance, and so was he.


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