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Now over a week since Eastwood’s 12-minute address to the crowd in Tampa, which involved much adlibbing and the use of a chair as a stand-in for President Obama, the unconventional speech is still dominating conversation. Critics were mixed (at best) in their reviews of the rare unscripted convention moment, but Romney said on Meet the Press on Sunday that he quite enjoyed the spectacle.
“Oh, I was laughing at Clint Eastwood. Look, to have him get up and speak on my behalf was … a great thrill,” the candidate said. “You don’t expect to have a guy like Clint Eastwood get up and, you know, read some speech off a teleprompter like a politician. You expect him to speak from the heart and that’s exactly what he did.”
That dovetails with what the Oscar-winner himself said last week.
“They seemed to be really enjoying themselves,” he told his local Carmel Pine Cone newspaper. “They vet most of the people, but I told them, ‘You can’t do that with me, because I don’t know what I’m going to say.'”
The night of the speech, Stuart Stevens, a Romney spokesperson, also insisted Romney enjoyed the performance, and that they were fine with the adlib.
“Listen, the guy went out and did what actors do sometimes, he did a little improv,” he reasoned. “If someone wants to say this wasn’t Clint Eastwood’s greatest performance, have at it. … Some people didn’t like Dirty Harry, some people didn’t like Gran Torino. That’s OK.”
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