Clint Eastwood says empty chair idea hit him just before speech

September 7, 2012

For the first time since delivering a one-of-a-kind address at last week's Republican National Convention, Clint Eastwood is speaking out about it. He said in an interview published Friday that his choice of words was spontaneous, and the motivation to use an empty chair to play the part of President Obama struck him only minutes before he took the stage in Tampa.

“There was a stool there, and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down,” Eastwood told the Carmel Pine Cone. “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.”


(Eric Thayer/Reuters)

Eastwood said his intent was to reach moderate voters with his speech, and convince them to support the Republican presidential ticket.

“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,” he told the paper.

It was only after napping in his Tampa hotel on the day of the speech that Eastwood began to map out what he intended to say.

But his goal was clear. He summed it up this way: “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.”

Read the complete story here.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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