Clint Eastwood gave his first post-convention interview today explaining how he came to address the “empty chair” and just what he thinks of the reaction.
Speaking with The Carmel Pine Cone, a local California paper, Eastwood said that “President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” and explained that it wasn’t the left he was trying to please–”I was aiming for the people in the middle”:
I had three points I wanted to make. 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. But I didn’t make up my mind exactly what I was going to say until I said it.
Eastwood explained that Romney personally requested that he attend back in August, but that it wasn’t finalized till a week before Tampa.
It was supposed to be a contrast with all the scripted speeches, because I’m Joe Citizen. I’m a movie maker, but I have the same feelings as the average guy out there….even people on the liberal side are starting to worry about going off a fiscal cliff.
As for the Empty Chair of the United States (ECOTUS) idea, Clintwood didn’t think of it till last-minute. He had planned to focus on the theme that people ”don’t have to worship politicians, like they were royalty or something”:
I got to the convention site just 15 or 20 minutes before I was scheduled to go on. That was fine, because everything was very well organized….There was a stool there [backstage], and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down. 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.
Clintwood then asked a stagehand to bring the stool out on stage:
The guy said, “You mean you want it at the podium?” and I said, “No, just put it right there next to it.”
Eastwood said he noticed that the audience was loving it, and after watching the other speeches, Romney and Ryan came back to thank him.
When asked about the negative response from the left, Eastwood replied that most people have something else on their minds: “A lot of people are realizing they had the wool pulled over their eyes by Obama.”