Clint Eastwood has no regrets.
In the Oscar-winner’s first interview since his unconventional (and meme-worthy) remarks at the Republican National Convention last week, Eastwood stressed that he was proud of how things played out, but — as many suspected — Romney officials were unclear about what exactly would be taking place when the 82-year-old actor stepped out onstage. “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 explained to The Carmel Pine Cone, a local paper from the city where Eastwood once served as mayor.
Eastwood said he had three main points he wanted to get across in his speech: “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,” he told the paper. “But I didn’t make up my mind exactly what I was going to say until I said it.”
The idea for the now-infamous empty chair came to the actor only 20 minutes before he was scheduled to speak. “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.”
After his extemporaneous speech, Eastwood said that he wasn’t aware of the negative reaction in the press, saying that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan came backstage to thank him, and “They were very enthusiastic, and we were all laughing.”
“President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” Eastwood said. “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.”