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EASTWOOD: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. Save a little for Mitt.
I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, what’s a movie tradesman doing out here? You know they are all left wingers out there, left of Lenin. At least that is what people think. That is not really the case. There are a lot of conservative people, a lot of moderate people, Republicans, Democrats, in Hollywood. It is just that the conservative people by the nature of the word itself play closer to the vest. They do not go around hot dogging it.(APPLAUSE)
So -- but they are there, believe me, they are there. I just think, in fact, some of them around town, I saw John Voigt, a lot of people around.(APPLAUSE)
John’s here, an academy award winner, a terrific guy. These people are all like-minded, like all of us. So I -- so I’ve got Mr Obama sitting here. And he’s -- I was going to ask him a couple of questions. But -- you know about -- I remember three and a half years ago, when Mr Obama won the election. And though I was not a big supporter, I was watching that night when he was having that thing and they were talking about hope and change and they were talking about, yes we can, and it was dark outdoors, and it was nice, and people were lighting candles. They were saying, I just thought, this was great. Everybody is crying, Oprah was crying.(LAUGHTER)
EASTWOOD: I was even crying. And then finally -- and I haven’t cried that hard since I found out that there is 23 million unemployed people in this country.(APPLAUSE)
Now that is something to cry for because that is a disgrace, a national disgrace, and we haven’t done enough, obviously -- this administration hasn’t done enough to cure that. Whenever interest they have is not strong enough, and I think possibly now it may be time for somebody else to come along and solve the problem.(APPLAUSE)
So, Mr President, how do you handle promises that you have made when you were running for election, and how do you handle them? I mean, what do you say to people? Do you just -- you know -- I know -- people were wondering -- you don’t -- handle that OK. Well, I know even people in your own party were very disappointed when you didn’t close Gitmo. And I thought, well closing Gitmo -- why close that, we spent so much money on it. But, I thought maybe as an excuse -- what do you mean shut up?(LAUGHTER)
OK, I thought maybe it was just because somebody had the stupid idea of trying terrorists in downtown New York City.(APPLAUSE)
I’ve got to hand it to you. I have to give credit where credit is due. You did finally overrule that finally. And that’s -- now we are moving onward. I know you were against the war in Iraq, and that’s okay. But you thought the war in Afghanistan was OK. You know, I mean -- you thought that was something worth doing. We didn’t check with the Russians to see how did it -- they did there for 10 years.(APPLAUSE)
But we did it, and it is something to be thought about, and I think that, when we get to maybe -- I think you’ve mentioned something about having a target date for bringing everybody home. You gave that target date, and I think Mr Romney asked the only sensible question, you know, he says, “Why are you giving the date out now? Why don’t you just bring them home tomorrow morning?”(APPLAUSE)
And I thought -- I thought, yeah -- I am not going to shut up, it is my turn.
So anyway, we’re going to have -- we’re going to have to have a little chat about that. And then, I just wondered, all these promises -- I wondered about when the -- what do you want me to tell Romney? I can’t tell him to do that. I can’t tell him to do that to himself.(APPLAUSE)
You’re crazy, you’re absolutely crazy. You’re getting as bad as Biden.
Of course we all now Biden is the intellect of the Democratic party.
Kind of a grin with a body behind it…
But I just think that there is so much to be done, and I think that Mr Romney and Mr Ryan are two guys that can come along. See, I never thought it was a good idea for attorneys to the president, anyway.(APPLAUSE)
I think attorneys are so busy -- you know they’re always taught to argue everything, and always weight everything -- weigh both sides. They are always devil’s advocating this and bifurcating this and bifurcating that. You know all that stuff. But, I think it is maybe time -- what do you think -- for maybe a businessman. How about that?(APPLAUSE)
A stellar businessman Quote, unquote, “a stellar businessman.” And I think it’s that time. And I think if you just step aside and Mr Romney can kind of take over. You can maybe still use a plane.(APPLAUSE)
Though maybe a smaller one, not that big gas guzzler you are going around to colleges and talking about student loans and stuff like that.(APPLAUSE)
You are an -- an ecological man. Why would you want to drive that around? OK, well anyway. All right, I’m sorry. I can’t do that to myself either.(APPLAUSE)
I would just like to say something, ladies and gentlemen. Something that I think is very important. It is that, you, we -- we own this country.(APPLAUSE)
We -- we own it. It is not you owning it, and not politicians owning it. Politicians are employees of ours.
And -- so -- they are just going to come around and beg for votes every few years. It is the same old deal. But I just think it is important that you realize , that you’re the best in the world. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican or whether you’re libertarian or whatever, you are the best. And we should not ever forget that. And when somebody does not do the job, we got to let them go.(APPLAUSE)
Okay, just remember that. And I’m speaking out for everybody out there. It doesn’t hurt, we don’t have to be
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Make my day...
EASTWOOD: I do not say that word anymore. Well, maybe one last time.
We don’t have to be -- what I’m saying, we do not have to be metal (ph) masochists and vote for somebody that we don’t really even want in office just because they seem to be nice guys or maybe not so nice guys, if you look at some of the recent ads going out there, I don’t know.(APPLAUSE)
But OK. You want to make my day?
All right, I started, you finish it. ‘Go ahead.’
AUDIENCE: Make my day!
EASTWOOD: Thank you. Thank you very much.
Obama still a fan of Clint Eastwood despite chair speech: President Praises 'great actor' after bizarre RNC speech
After Clint Eastwood's speech to an empty chair at the Republican National Convention sparked the #Eastwooding meme, President Obama maintains he didn't mind: 'If you're easily offended, you should probably choose another profession' An empty chair aside, President Obama is still an aficionado of Clint Eastwood’s work on the Silver Screen, especially when he’s behind the camera. The President was more inclined to focus on Eastwood’s recent hits, like “Mystic River” and “Million Dollar Baby” — but that didn’t stop politicos on the Sunday talk shows from debating the impact on the presidential race of the actor’s oddball Republican National Convention speech. “He is a great actor, and an even better director,” Obama told USA Today aboard Air Force One en route to a campaign stop in Iowa Saturday. “I think the last few movies that he’s made have been terrific.” Eastwood’s rambling 12-minute performance Thursday was punctuated by a bizarre interview with an empty chair that was supposed to be propping up an invisible Obama. The unexpected bit of political theatre became a sensation on Twitter and led to an outpouring of interpretation, criticism and praise — but Obama himself would not join the critical chorus.
When the USA Today reporter asked him if Eastwood had offended him with the on-stage antic, he said with a smile: “One thing about being president or running for president — if you’re easily offended, you should probably choose another profession.”
In contrast, Eastwood's introduction about the quiet conservatives in Hollywood was good. In the sections on Obama he was trying, rather awkwardly and incoherently as it turned out, to do what I imagine many Americans would love a chance to do: which is to ask Barack some questions about why, although he gives such smooth and well-gamed speeches which are loved by political communication experts, he is so rubbish at being President? Good for Clint. He tried something and it didn't really work. Are we now really so media-saturated and over-spun that we can no longer tolerate that?’