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Eastwood talks about convention chat with chair

  • FILE - This Aug. 30, 2012 file photo shows actor Clint Eastwood addressing an empty chair at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. More than a week after Clint Eastwood delivered a speech to the Republican National Convention, the veteran Hollywood actor-director continues to be mocked for his peculiar, rambling conversation with an imaginary President Barack Obama in an empty chair on stage, begging the question: Will his latest film also be playing to empty seats when it debuts later this month? (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, file)

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 if 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 small 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 Barack 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.

The 82-year-old Eastwood said he set out to make three points and he achieved his goal.


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