Clint Eastwood talks RNC empty chair stunt, calls Obama 'greatest hoax'
Clint Eastwood has called his infamous RNC appearance, where he addressed an empty chair as President Barack Obama, a "mission accomplished."
The four-time Oscar winner said that using a chair to represent the President was not only a surprise to everyone else, it was also a spur of the moment decision for him after someone backstage at the Republican National Convention asked him if he wanted to sit down.
"There was a stool there, and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down," Eastwood told the Carmel Pine Cone, the local paper from the small California city where he once was mayor. "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 stunt was a surprise to the convention organizers, who usual vet people who speak. Eastwood said that he told them, "You can't do that with me, because I don't know what I'm going to say."
Eastwood was unapologetic about his speech, which ran for 12 minutes, though he was told to speak for five.
"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."
In his speech, the actor and director spoke of Obama's unfulfilled promise to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the unemployment rate in the country and lawyers.
"When somebody doesn't do the job, you gotta let 'em go," Eastwood said.
Eastwood told the Carmel Pine Cone, "President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people. 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."
President Obama's Twitter account responded to the Oscar winner's speech by posting a photo of himself shown sitting at a chair that read "The President" and a caption reading, "This seat's taken."
Immediately after Eastwood's speech a parody Twitter account called "Invisible Obama" began Tweeting about the convention and Eastwood. At press time the account had over 69,917 followers.
The stunt also prompted a new internet meme known as "Eastwooding," where people share photos of themselves next to empty chairs.
President Obama recently told USA Today that he is a "huge Clint Eastwood fan" and that he believes the Academy Award-winner is "a great actor, and an even better director."
When asked if he was offended by Eastwood's criticism, President Obama said, "One thing about being president or running for president - if you're easily offended, you should probably choose another profession."