Eastwood tells paper speech critics are "on the left"

Fri Sep 7, 2012 8:10pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

(Reuters) - Clint Eastwood got the idea for his "very unorthodox" speech at the Republican convention hours ahead of time, and made a last-minute decision to cast an empty chair as an invisible President Barack Obama, the actor said in an interview with a California newspaper.

The "Dirty Harry" star told the Carmel Pine Cone in the interview published on Friday that he had little public speaking experience but felt his improvised chat with Obama had accomplished his goals. It was his first public comments about the unscripted speech he gave on Thursday last week.

Eastwood's remarks puzzled viewers and became the brunt of jokes.

"I may have irritated a lot of the lefties, but I was aiming for people in the middle," the Oscar-winning actor and director said in the interview. The newspaper serves the California town where Eastwood was mayor in the 1980s.

"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."

Known for having some strong conservative opinions, Eastwood was quoted as saying that people who were shocked by his remarks "are obviously on the left."

For the full interview see here

Eastwood's conversation with an empty chair largely upstaged Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney's keynote speech at the convention and triggered a satirical Twitter account, @InvisibleObama, that went viral.

The @InvisibleObama parody account garnered more than 25,000 followers by the end of Romney's speech, and by last Friday afternoon it had some 55,000 followers.   Continued...

Actor Clint Eastwood addresses the final session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 30, 2012. REUTERS/Joe Skipper