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Clint Eastwood's Convention Schtick Draws Extreme Criticism Clint Eastwood's Convention Schtick Draws Extreme Criticism

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Conventions 2012

Clint Eastwood's Convention Schtick Draws Extreme Criticism

Scott Walker: 'I cringed' during performance


Actor Clint Eastwood addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. ((AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite))

The reviews continue to pour in on Clint Eastwood’s appearance at the Republican National convention Thursday night, and "mixed" might be a charitable way to put it. One prominent Republican, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, said that he "cringed" at the performance.

Walker, appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday, echoed the sentiments of many when he said he would have preferred to see more testimonials from people talking about Romney. “Frankly I would have rather seen that than Clint Eastwood,” he said. 


In multiple television appearances Friday morning, Ann Romney was asked about Eastwood, largely demurring, calling him “a unique guy,” and noting the campaign was happy for his support. But when asked on CBS' This Morning whether she thought the campaign should have aired a well-received video tribute in prime time in place of Eastwood, she responded:  "Yes, I do wish more people had seen those touching moments."

Eastwood’s performance, a rambling 12-minute discourse that featured the legendary actor and Oscar-winning director talking to an empty chair that represented President Obama, dominated Twitter and other social media sites.

At one point, Eastwood feigned an exchange with the president.

“What do you want me to tell Mr. Romney?” he asked.


“I can’t tell him that. He can’t do that to himself,” Mr. Eastwood said, in what The New York Times said was “apparently referring to a sexual act.”

Film critic Roger Ebert had this tweet: "Clint, my hero, is coming across as sad and pathetic."

On Thursday night, President Obama’s Twitter feed sent a link to a picture of the president sitting in a chair and the message: “This seat’s taken.”  

An unattributed release from the Romney campaign defended Eastwood, according to The Wall Street Journal: "Judging an American icon like Clint Eastwood through a typical political lens doesn’t work. His ad-libbing was a break from all the political speeches, and the crowd enjoyed it,” the statement read.

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