More than a week after actor and director Clint Eastwood delivered his much-talked about speech at the Republican National Convention criticizing President Barack Obama, the Hollywood icon has said that he felt good about his appearance, and revealed his idea behind using an empty chair to represent an "imaginary Obama."
"President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people," Eastwood told The Pine Cone, a local California newspaper in the town Carmel-by-the-Sea, where he was elected mayor in 1986. "Romney and Ryan would do a much better job running the country, and that's what everybody needs to know. I may have irritated a lot of the lefties, but I was aiming for people in the middle."
In the lengthy interview, Eastwood admitted that his speech had been largely improvised, and he did not have much of what he was going to say planned out before that night. He clarified, however, that he had three clear points 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.
The director's appearance apparently came after a personal request from Mitt Romney, when the GOP presidential candidate asked Eastwood to speak at the convention after the latter gave him his endorsement in August.
Eastwood apparently arrived at the convention in Florida only 20 minutes before he was scheduled to speak, and refused to have his speech vetted – noting that he even told Romney's campaign aides that he wasn't sure what he was going to say at the convention.
"It was supposed to be a contrast with all the scripted speeches, because I'm Joe Citizen," the director said. "I'm a movie maker, but I have the same feelings as the average guy out there."
During his speech, Eastwood had an impromptu "conversation" with an empty chair said to represent President Obama, which was widely criticized. Eastwood admitted that the idea came to him at the last minute, right before he was about to get his cue to come on the stage.
"There was a stool there, and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down," Eastwood said. "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."
Despite the somewhat negative response his speech received from some viewers, Eastwood insisted that he was more than happy with his appearance at the Republican convention, and thought that the crowd there was fully behind him.
"The audience was super enthusiastic, and it's always great when they're with you instead of against you," he said.
As a response to the empty chair interview, where Eastwood asked the imaginary Obama "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?," Obama tweeted a photo of himself seating in a presidential seat, with the message "This seat is taken."
Eastwood said, however, that many of these negative reports "are obviously on the left," and shared that both Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan congratulated and thanked him for his speech at the convention.
"A lot of people are realizing they had the wool pulled over their eyes by Obama," Eastwood concluded.