LOS ANGELES – Clint Eastwood said the idea to use an empty seat as a prop at the Republican National Convention was a spur-of-the-moment decision when someone backstage asked whether he wanted to sit down.
In his first interview since his Aug. 30 appearance at the convention to pledge support for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Eastwood told the Carmel Pine Cone that his speech was not only unscripted, it was pretty much spontaneous.
There was a stool there, and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down, Eastwood told the weekly newspaper in the 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.
Eastwood’s peculiar, sometimes rambling conversation with an imaginary President Obama in an empty chair set the blogosphere and social media ablaze. Reaction to his appearance generally has split along party lines, with Republicans raving about his stinging rebuke of Obama and Democrats ridiculing him as old, angry and out of touch.
Eastwood, 82, said he set out to make three points and that he achieved his goal.
That not everybody in Hollywood is on the left, that Obama has broken a lot of the promises he made when he took office, and that the people should feel free to get rid of any politician who’s not doing a good job, Eastwood said in the interview, which was conducted Tuesday but not published until Friday. But I didn’t make up my mind exactly what I was going to say until I said it.
Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, later came backstage to thank him.
They were very enthusiastic, and we were all laughing, Eastwood said.