Clint Eastwood has broken his silence on his now-infamous speech at last week's Republican National Convention — during which he berated an empty chair occupied by an imaginary President Obama at length — calling Obama "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”
Speaking to the Carmel Pine Cone, the actor/director revealed that Romney's campaign aides questioned him about the contents of his speech, but he wouldn't divulge details, because he didn't have any.
“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, the former mayor of Carmel, told the paper.
Eastwood — who admits that "I really don’t know how to" make a speech — said that he only mapped out a general idea of what he would say in the speech about an hour before he took the stage, and came up with the idea of speaking to an empty chair just minutes before the speech, while waiting backstage to go on.
“There was a stool there, and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down,” the actor recalled. “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.”
According to the "Gran Torino" star, it was his intention to wing it all along.
“It was supposed to be a contrast with all the scripted speeches, because I’m Joe Citizen,” the actor noted. “I’m a movie maker, but I have the same feelings as the average guy out there.”
While Eastwood's show-stealing speech befuddled many — and spawned an internet trend that came to be known as "Eastwooding" — the 82-year-old opined that the crowd "really seemed to be enjoying themselves," and he was met with congratulations backstage after making his speech.
The actor's opinion on the current chief executive hasn't softened any in the days since he dressed him down in absentia: “President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”