"If you're easily offended, you should probably choose another profession."
Maybe if he had actually been sitting in that chair, it would be different. But President Obama says he remains "a huge Clint Eastwood fan."
In an interview with USA Today, the president had only kind words for the actor-director, who criticized him in an odd Republican National Convention speech in which he used an empty chair as a stand-in for Obama.
"He is a great actor, and an even better director," Obama said. "I think the last few movies that he's made have been terrific."
Asked if he was offended by the speech, he smiled and replied: "One thing about being president or running for president — if you're easily offended, you should probably choose another profession."
He also said Democrats don't plan any similar speeches at their national convention this week.
Obama may owe a debt to Eastwood: His strange routine Thursday night stole much of the focus on Republican nominee Mitt Romney's acceptance speech.
Obama's comments to USA Today weren't his only response to the speech. Soon after Eastwood spoke, Obama or someone with access to his Twitter account posted a picture of him sitting in a chair with the words, "This seat's taken."