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Clint Eastwood mocked for Republican appearance

Actor Clint Eastwood addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Actor Clint Eastwood addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

LOS ANGELES — Clint Eastwood earned plenty of bad reviews for his latest performance: a bizarre, rambling endorsement of Mitt Romney.

"Clint, my hero, is coming across as sad and pathetic," tweeted film critic Roger Ebert as Eastwood ad-libbed Thursday night to an audience of millions — and one empty chair — on stage at the Republican National Convention. "He didn't need to do this to himself. It's unworthy of him."

Eastwood carried on a long-winded conversation with an imaginary President Barack Obama, telling him that he failed to deliver on his promise and that it's time for Romney and running mate Paul Ryan to take over.

"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?" he said at one point to the empty chair.

Twitter was instantly ablaze with comments mocking the Oscar-winning director of "Unforgiven" and "Million Dollar Baby."

"Clint has now eclipsed the total word count of his last three films," tweeted film critic Richard Roeper during the speech, which was intended to last five minutes but went on for nearly 12.

Howard Kurtz, host of CNN's "Reliable Sources," said "Clint's empty chair act" was the "weirdest convention moment I have ever seen." Joe Scarborough, the conservative host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," declared that "a great night for Mitt Romney just got sidetracked by Clint Eastwood."

Minutes after Eastwood began his speech, someone created an (at)InvisibleObama account on Twitter. It has already amassed 30,000 followers and counting.

"I heard that Clint Eastwood was channeling me at the RNC," tweeted comic actor Bob Newhart, known for his one-sided conversation bits. "My lawyers and I are drafting our lawsuit."

The 82-year-old actor and director, a fiscal conservative who takes left-leaning stands on social issues, also talked about Oprah Winfrey, Obama's unfulfilled promise to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and lawyers.

"When somebody doesn't do the job, you gotta let 'em go," Eastwood said. The tough-guy actor of "Dirty Harry" fame then drew a finger across his throat.

The Obama campaign shot back afterward by tweeting a photo of the back of the president's chair, with Obama's head peeking over it, along with the line: "This seat's taken."

A top Obama adviser, David Axelrod, told MSNBC that Republicans must be regretting Eastwood's rambling speech.

Inside the convention, the crowd cheered the actor's entrance and shouted his famed catchphrase, "Go ahead, make my day." But backstage, stern-faced Romney aides winced at times as Eastwood's remarks stretched on.

After his speech, Romney's camp defended Eastwood.

"He's an American icon," Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho told CNN's Piers Morgan. "You can't look at him at through the same political lens that you would other politicians. He's Clint Eastwood."

Romney's wife, Ann, was peppered with questions on morning news shows about whether Eastwood's appearance was a distraction. She said Eastwood is "a unique guy and he did a unique thing last night."

Comments

kevin 1 year, 12 months ago

I think Clint was just fantastic. I don't care what anybody else writes or says about him. He is #1.

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bluegasky 1 year, 12 months ago

I could have said the same thing about ex- Pres. Bush Jr., no balanced budget, the borders wide open, holding people in Guantanomo without trial/water boarding too, and remember Vodoo Economics and Trickly Down theory- sure didn't work. So who do you trust? Heck here is Dirty Harry speaking and Romney wants to cut funding to the National Endowment for the Arts. Where would his movies be without Music? You have to vote for the guy who will help you. I have college kids who need loans, I need a job, have no medical insurance because it cost to much, can't move because you can't sell a house, college debts. and two sick elderly parents with pre-existing conditions who I care for every day. Will one job even cover it all?

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 12 months ago

bluegasky - Do you really think that music would vanish from the Earth if the federal government stopped funding it? Show me a constitutional provision that says the federal government should be funding art. It's not the government's job to help you. The federal government should foster an atmosphere in which all people have equal opportunity. It is your responsibility to take care of you and yours. If you think the government should be funding your education, and your job, and your healthcare then you have a seriously flawed view of the original intent of our nation and its federal government.

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jjbod1 1 year, 12 months ago

The liberal media is just freaking out and pulling every stop they can. So tired of this. Obama needs to go,period!

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nicholson 1 year, 12 months ago

The tasteless, tacky liberal comments about Clint's age being thrown about today just show the total hypocrisy of the Democratic party that claims to be about protecting senior citizens. On the one hand, liberals are trying to scare & manipulate seniors by showing ads with granny being pushed off a cliff in a wheelchair and the next minute the libs are bashing Eastwood as having dementia. If they want to criticize him for his comments, that's fine, but to bash him for his age, just shows how desperate and mean spirited they really are.

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R 1 year, 12 months ago

Mr. Eastwood is getting up there in age, but he still came across pretty well and paraphrasing his character in “Gran Torino” , it’s just time for President Obama to simply

“Get off MY (Whitehouse) Lawn”

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Don 1 year, 12 months ago

I thought Eastwood's speech was great! The empty chair really was a symbol of what we currently have in the white house. Obama does not have a clue as to what he should be doing to get this country going in the right direction, Bluegasky and I do not mean in a socialist direction!

Eastwood took a good amount of heat for the commercial he did about Detroit and some liberals were trying to say that this was an endorsement from him for Obama, well i guess that theory is no blown out of the water!

Bliegasky- Bush may not have done a balanced budget but at least he did a budget ! Can you please tell me were Obama's budget is, oh yeah I think he left it on Eastwood's empty chair!

For the national endowment for the arts, why do we not let the private sector fund that, If the private sector will not support it then I guess we the people do not really care about it. I am sure that Warren Buffett could fund it for a couple of decades.

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JCJB 1 year, 12 months ago

The only people complaining are liberals and everyone knows they have no sense of humor. There is only one question. Are you better off than you were 4 years ago? Hell, I can't say I'm even with where I was 4 years ago. My husband was laid off almost 4 years ago and despite looking, can't find a job, and yes, he is willing to do most anything. Social Security doesn't even come close

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BuzzG 1 year, 12 months ago

"a bizarre, rambling endorsement of Mitt Romney."

There was nothing either bizarre or rambling about it. It was a cogent but humorous way of stating the huge failure of the Obama administration.

What is bizarre is the Associated Press's attempt to belittle this great actor and save the failed career of Barak Obama. It would be hard to find a more biases article from the Associated Press than this one. But they will be getting more and more desperate to save their leftist friend Obama as the November election approaches and it becomes clear that the American people have figured out this guy's five trillion dollar debt is about to ruin this country.

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kevin 1 year, 12 months ago

all the Liberals are showing their jealousy over Clint's speech. They are mad because Clint is in Hollywood and not a Liberal and he used his comedy "act" to knock Obama by telling it like it is. These folks are knocking Clint because he hit the nail on the head and made people laugh. The Liberals can't stand someone else taking their "thunder." Forever Clint, a former Mayor in Calif., something Obama still hasn't had experience doing, running anything! Too bad Liberals do not have any sense of humor. WE own this country and government employees work for us, is so correct.

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SickandTired 1 year, 11 months ago

Exactly. I thought Clint was great. He did what he does best....ACT, it was a bit! At least he didn't get up on stage to scream and lecture at Americans on our economy or foreign policy like Sean Penn and George Clooney do. They are actors not politicians, I find it hilarious when these lib hollywood actors try to come off as economists or policy experts.

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