Clint Eastwood's Bizarre RNC Speech: Hollywood Reacts
The multiple Oscar winner drew a wide range of reactions for a surprise address that included a debate with an empty chair and several applause lines.
Clint Eastwood met audience expectations when he uttered his famed "Make my day" line during his speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention. It was the other lines he delivered that raised some eyebrows.
Appearing ahead of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio during the last hour of the RNC, Eastwood was the party's much-buzzed-about "mystery guest" and certainly gave a memorable address. Along with taking shots at Vice President Joe Biden, and praising GOP nominee Mitt Romney, Eastwood spent much of his speech in a one-sided conversation with what was supposed to be an invisible President Barack Obama, represented by an empty chair behind the podium.
The Romney campaign issued a statement shortly after Eastwood finished his speech, saying: "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. He rightly pointed out that 23 million Americans out of work or underemployed is a national disgrace and it's time for a change."
Eastwood began his speech by insisting that Hollywood is not as uniformly liberal as is often perceived. Here are reactions from some in the industry -- and Obama -- who were tweeting during and after his speech:
Clint, my hero, is coming across as sad and pathetic. He didn't need to do this to himself. It's unworthy of him.— Roger Ebert (@ebertchicago) August 31, 2012
— Adam McKay (@GhostPanther) August 31, 2012
#ClintEastwoodI'm twitter-less after that. Wow.
Clint Eastwood made my day.— Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels) August 31, 2012
Wow. Who knew Clint Eastwood was such a down the line rightwing asshole?— Bill Maher (@billmaher) August 31, 2012
Respect to Clint.82 years old and putting Twitter over capacity.— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers21) August 31, 2012
Clint Eastwood became huge star as a man of few wordsAs a surprise guest on the Tampa stage he had too many words (I say as a friend)— Tom Brokaw (@tombrokaw) August 31, 2012
clint eastwood is CRAY— Roseanne Barr (@TheRealRoseanne) August 31, 2012
Invisible Obama is cursing a lot.— timheidecker (@timheidecker) August 31, 2012
Awaiting the "Shut up about politics,Clint Eastwood, and just make movies!!" chorus of anti-'hollywood elite' rightwingers! Cmon lads!— Tom Morello (@tmorello) August 31, 2012
Still reeling from that— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 31, 2012
#Clint performance - sooooooooo weird.
Looking at Rubio & Romney but all I can see is the Clint Eastwood performance art that just happened on that stage. What were they thinking?— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) August 31, 2012
Is making Clint talk to a chair at the RNC penance for that patriotic car tv spot he did that some perceived to be pro (auto bailout) Obama?— Brad Bird (@BradBirdA113) August 31, 2012
I love you, Clint.I always will.But you changed the theme of the RNC from "WE BUILT THIS" to "I CAN'T WATCH THIS".— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) August 31, 2012
I. Love. Clint Eastwood.— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) August 31, 2012
is clint eastwood meant to instill confidence in republicans?! i am legitimately scared of his talking to imaginary obama.— Zachary Quinto (@ZacharyQuinto) August 31, 2012
Clint Eastwood's RNC speech was to imaginary Obama in an empty chair. I'm drafting a DNC speech to imaginary Romney in an empty factory.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 31, 2012
Good news for Romney out of Clint Eastwood fiasco? He will get to fire some people— Ed Schultz (@edshow) August 31, 2012
I haven't seen Clint yet.I hope it doesn't ruin Bronco Billy for me.— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) August 31, 2012
I always read/hear Republicans spitting out that actors should shut up about politics.— ABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) August 31, 2012
Still can't tell if Clint was hallucinating or President is really invisible now.— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) August 31, 2012