Entries in Clint Eastwood (12)


Clint Eastwood Joins Republicans for Gay Marriage, Highlighting Growing GOP Rift

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A growing split in the Republican Party deepened Thursday when Clint Eastwood, the movie star who rocked the GOP convention by interviewing an invisible President Obama, joined the ranks of Republicans who are in favor of legalizing gay marriage.

The support for gay marriage by Eastwood and about 100 prominent Republicans, along with budding support within the party for immigration reform, is creating an obvious divide in the party. It pits moderate Republicans and party operatives on one side against conservative activists who drive turnout in the primary elections.

One of the four former Republican governors who signed the legal brief in favor of same-sex marriage is ex-New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman, who says there are days she "absolutely" doesn't feel like part of the party because she says the GOP is being "defined by the talking heads and they don't for the most part represent me."

Whitman said she signed the gay marriage brief because it's important to be heard and it's "an opportunity to get this issue behind us."

"We are talking about family values, we are talking about commitment that so many people hold in such high regard it shouldn't make a difference if it's between a man and a woman or two men or two women," Whitman said. "We are the party of family values and limited government. Getting out of the bedroom is a good first step."

Whitman, who is also the former administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, said the purist conservatives are statistically a smaller number of people in the party, but are the loudest because of their role in the party's primaries where voter turnout can be very low.

"It allows the most partisan people the first say in who your choices…and because they are the most partisan they are going to choose the most partisan people," Whitman said. "They have influence beyond their numbers."

Margaret Hoover, a GOP strategist and former George W. Bush staffer who signed the brief, agrees with Whitman, but said she always feels like a member of the party because she is "totally committed to changing it."

"You can leave or you can change it and frankly we are having a lot of success changing it," Hoover said. "We are making it truer to our principals and we are calling out the people who claim to be for individual freedom."

Hoover said she thinks the people "gearing up for civil war" are the "social conservatives who insist on purity tests," but there are "other elements of the party that are quickly trying to tamp that down and pivoting to, 'No we are going to be the party of the big tent.' We are going to get back to being a big tent party on social issues. We will be strict on fiscal issues."

"It's fair to say that increasingly behind the scenes Republicans are saying we have to be a big tent on social issues. Social conservative activists are going to hate that, [American Conservative Union president] Al Cardenas is going to hate that and his people are going to hate that, but that's not the reality," Hoover said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Clint Eastwood Explains Empty-Chair Speech

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In his first interview since the infamous invisible Obama empty chair routine that transfixed the Republican National Convention last month, Clint Eastwood says the Romney campaign didn’t know what he was going to say and he didn’t come up with the empty chair idea until he was about to go on stage.

“They vet most of the people, but I told them, ‘You can’t do that with me, because I don’t know what I’m going to say,’” Eastwood told the Carmel Pine Cone of Carmel, California.

He says he came up with the idea to interview an absent Obama just before taking 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.”

The only person he told about the idea was the stage hand, he said.

“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’s not used to giving speeches, but in his estimation, that was supposed to be part of his draw for independent voters that might be watching.

“It was supposed to be a contrast with all the scripted speeches, because I’m Joe Citizen,” Eastwood said. “I’m a movie maker, but I have the same feelings as the average guy out there,” he said.

Check out the entire interview from the Carmel Pine Cone.

Watch Eastwood’s empty chair speech:

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Still ‘a Huge Clint Eastwood Fan’ After Ribbing

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- President Barack Obama says the ribbing Clint Eastwood gave him at the Republican National Convention last week doesn’t mean he won’t watch his movies.

“I am a huge Clint Eastwood fan,” the president said in an interview excerpt released Sunday.

“He is a great actor, and an even better director,” he continued. “I think the last few movies that he’s made have been terrific.”

USA Today asked the president about Eastwood’s participation at the GOP convention while Obama was traveling to Iowa on Saturday. The interview will be fully released on the publication’s website Monday and in print Tuesday.

Eastwood was a much-hyped mystery speaker at the three-day long event, rousing the crowd in a 12-minute oratory that included a satirical “interview” with Obama, in the form of an empty chair. The president said he didn’t hold a grudge against the blunt performance, which some considered borderline vulgar.

“One thing about being president or running for president — if you’re easily offended, you should probably choose another profession,” the president said.

Obama said not to expect any similar acts at the upcoming Democratic convention this week in North Carolina.

“I think we’ll be playing this pretty straight,” he said.

Most of the president’s surrogates on Sunday morning’s political talk shows largely reflected his stance, with few directly criticizing the Hollywood legend. On ABC’s “This Week,” senior adviser David Plouffe said, “We’re all Clint Eastwood fans here in the Obama campaign.”

“The president, myself, we all, I think, everyone in America thinks he’s been an amazing actor and director and an American treasure,” he told George Stephanopoulos. “I do think the Romney campaign would probably not, three days after their convention, still having questions raised about Clint Eastwood. So you’ll have to ask them how that all went down.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Clint Eastwood Gets Cut From Romney RNC Video

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A video mash-up of speakers from last week’s Republican National Convention does not include an appearance from the “mystery RNC speaker,” Clint Eastwood.

The two-and-a-half minute video posted Sunday to the Romney campaign’s YouTube account features former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, VP nominee Paul Ryan and of course, Romney himself, but it leaves out Eastwood’s controversial speech.

Eastwood caused a stir at the convention and on Twitter with a rambling speech Thursday night, in which he interviewed an invisible President Obama in a wooden prop chair.

The speech launched a trend called “Eastwooding,” and prompted one supporter to tell Vice President Joe Biden, “You gotta keep the chair.”

“You got that? The invisible chair,” Bev Kalmer of Poland, Ohio said.

White House senior adviser David Plouffe called Eastwood “an American treasure,” on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday.

“We’re all Clint Eastwood fans here in the Obama campaign,” Plouffe said.

A Romney adviser said the presidential nominee found Eastwood’s routine funny, but other Republicans worried it disrupted the flow of the final night at the national convention.

“I personally think Clint Eastwood was a mistake before he came out,” former California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina said Sunday on Meet the Press.

Speaking on the same show, former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich called the performance “a distraction.”

“I think in the long run it’s almost irrelevant.  But it’s the sort of bump that gives everything something to tweet about, and it provides lots of fodder,” Gingrich said. ”On the other hand, if you’re Mitt Romney and your choice is to have Saturday Night Live decide to pick on Clint Eastwood or pick on you, I think– I think I’d give them Clint Eastwood for every night for the rest of the campaign.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Clint Eastwood Inspires Twitter Buzz After Convention Speech

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Clint Eastwood caused quite the stir on the national stage of the Republican National Convention Thursday night when he interviewed an empty chair, addressing it as “President Obama.”  The off-color interview sparked a rush of Internet buzz and produced at least two new twitter trends.

The twitter handle @invisibleobama inspired by the empty seat that accompanied Eastwood on the stage in Tampa, Fla., has generated more than 37,000 followers and counting.

The account had gained more than 20,000 followers in 45 minutes and had been mentioned more than 10,000 times on Twitter.  And its counterpart, #eastwooding, has prompted tweeters to post pictures of empty chairs either in support of or to mock Eastwood’s provocative “interview.”

Republicans aren’t the only ones having the cyber fun.  Supporters of President Obama have also been tweet-sharing a digitally altered image from an episode of The Simpsons.  The original image from the episode shows a picture of Grandpa Simpson below the headline, “Old man yells at chair.”

Now, Obama supporters have made the image their own, adding Eastwood’s mug below the newspaper headline.

The 82-year-old actor’s performance even enticed the Obama campaign to play along, tweeting, “This seat’s taken” at about 12:30 a.m. Friday morning.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Clint Eastwood Electrifies RNC Crowd, Interviews 'Invisible Obama'

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Clint Eastwood made a surprise appearance at the Republican National Convention Thursday night, calling unemployment in America "a national disgrace" before interviewing an empty chair he addressed as "President Obama."

"I got Mr. Obama sitting here and I was gonna ask him a couple questions," Eastwood drawled, turning his head toward the chair.

"Mr. President, how do you handle promises you made when you were running for election? What do you say to people?" Eastwood asked.

But he cut off the interviewee: "I'm not gonna shut up. It's my turn," Eastwood said.

And then, again to the chair: "What do you want me to tell Mr. Romney?"

"I can't tell him to do that," Eastwood responded. "He can't do that to himself. You're absolutely crazy. You're getting as bad as Biden!"

The partisan crowd erupted at the apparently off-color remark.

The president, though, would get the last word.  At about 12:30 a.m. Friday, his office replied simply, "This seat's taken."

Eastwood, who endorsed Romney on Aug. 3 at a fundraiser in Sun Valley, Idaho, spoke about the Republican presidential nominee, too, saying, "It was time for someone else to come along and solve the problem."

Of Obama, he said Thursday night, "When somebody doesn't do the job, you've got to let them go," before making a throat-slashing gesture.

This wasn't the four-time Academy Award winner's first dip in political waters. He was elected mayor of Carmel, Calif., in 1986, and rumors still exist that President George H. W. Bush, with his 1988 campaign faltering, considered asking Eastwood to be his running mate.

On this night, Eastwood's arrival dispelled another rumor, that the RNC had plans to debut a hologram revival of Ronald Reagan on the convention stage.

Instead, it was the actor and his seemingly improvised one-man show that followed a touching video about the Romney family and delayed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's scheduled address by at least 10 minutes.

Before leaving the stage, Eastwood turned his attention to the crowd and brought them in on the act.

"Go ahead," he growled and, not missing a beat, they shouted back: "Make my day!"

Watch Clint Eastwood's full speech:

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Soundcheck Points to Clint Eastwood Cameo at RNC; Planners Stay Mum

ABC News (NEW YORK) -- Republicans have not yet officially confirmed the identity of the “mystery speaker” who will appear before Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio during primetime Thursday night.

In the 10 p.m. hour of Thursday night’s Republican National Convention, a six-minute chunk of time between Rubio’s speech and Romney’s speech has been allotted for “applause.” That’s plenty of time for a standing ovation and a five-minute speech from Clint Eastwood, the respected director and long-ago star of Dirty Harry.

All week, the buzz in Tampa has been that Eastwood would make a cameo appearance, and Thursday offered what may be an important audio clue that those expectations are correct.

During a soundcheck for the night’s activities, the distinctive whistling theme to The Good the Bad and the Ugly, an Eastwood Western, was played in the convention hall.

Earlier Thursday, Romney staffers refused to address the subject.

“Because if it was a mystery speaker, it wouldn’t be a mystery anymore,” said Romney adviser Russ Schriefer on a conference call with reporters.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Is Clint Eastwood the Mystery Convention Speaker?

Indigo/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- There’s a big mystery in Tampa, Fla.: Who is the “TBA” who will address the Republican National Convention Thursday night just before Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney?

It’s a prime slot on the final night of the convention.  The convention hall has been buzzing with the possibility -- almost the expectation at this point -- that it will be Clint Eastwood, who endorsed Romney earlier this year.

You may recall that some Republicans were frustrated by Eastwood’s appearance in a Chrysler Super Bowl ad about “halftime” in America.  Romney, of course, opposed the auto bailout that saved Chrysler.

ABC's George Stephanopoulos talked with Diane Sawyer about the Eastwood question on World News.  Watch below for more.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Gets Endorsement from Clint Eastwood

Indigo/Getty Images(SUN VALLEY, Idaho) -- Mitt Romney got some celebrity love when Clint Eastwood showed up at his high-dollar fundraiser Friday evening in Idaho to offer his endorsement of the presumptive GOP nominee.

When the Oscar-winning director was asked why he was supporting Romney, Eastwood responded, “Because I think the country needs a boost somewhere.”

Eastwood, who has a home near the Sun Valley Resort where the fundraiser was held, was wearing grey sneakers, beige slacks, a green blazer and a pair of sunglasses, when reporters spotted him.

Eastwood endorsed -- and campaigned for -- Sen. John McCain during the 2008 election and was forced to clarify that he was not supporting Obama after he voiced a Super Bowl ad about the recovering auto industry earlier this year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gingrich Praises Clint Eastwood Superbowl Ad

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) -- Karl Rove said he was offended by Chrysler’s Clint Eastwood halftime Super Bowl ad and other Republicans grumbled that the ad subtly promoted the interests of President Obama, who has made the bailout and the seeming resurgence of the U.S. car industry a major economic sales pitch for his re-election.

But Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker from Georgia who is running for president as a Republican, said Wednesday that he liked the ad.

“I have to confess I liked the Clint Eastwood halftime ad,” Gingrich told a crowd at Jergens Inc. during a campaign stop in Cleveland. “I mean, I liked the tone of that ad. The world has counted us down before and we’re just regrouping and I believe with your help in the primary and your help in the general election, we can, in fact, develop an approach that will put America back on the right track.”

In the ad, which ran Sunday night, Eastwood said, “It’s halftime in America, too. People are out of work, and they’re hurting. And they’re all wondering what they’re going to do to make a comeback. And we’re all scared because this isn’t a game. The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together, now Motor City is fighting again.”

Amid criticism from the Right, Eastwood later issued a statement saying, "I am certainly not affiliated with Mr. Obama."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio