Clint Eastwood has reacted to negative comments about his speech to empty seat to criticize President Barack Obama at Republican National Convention. In an interview with Jerry Penacoli on "Extra", the "Gran Torino" director said he didn't regret the speech and wouldn't be afraid to do it again regardless of the outcome.
"People loved it or hated it and that's fine," the helmer said. "I figure if somebody's dumb enough to ask me to go to a political convention and say something, they're gonna have to take what they get." When asked if he would do it again, he stated, "I don't know. I never look backward. It's done and it's done. I probably would, I wouldn't be afraid of it."
He took inspiration from some classic routines for his chair routine. "Actually, I did a funeral speech for a friend of mine and I started talking to mythical people imitating him and I sorta stole that for myself," he explained. "But it reminds me of the days of Shelley Berman ... Bob Newhart, all those guys who used to do those phone conversations, all that sort of stuff."
When informed that Mr. President sang praise for him instead of firing back, Eastwood replied, "Well, great. Well, I think he can be very gracious when he wants to be. ... And I have no problem with him at all. I just have a problem with the situation that we're in right now." He added, "It's nothing personal. When he came in, I thought it was great."
"I thought the multiculturalism was great, all that kind of stuff," he continued before sharing his thoughts about what frustrated him. "But to me, it's just about the work." He wanted to see "some real people working." He hoped GOP candidate Mitt Romney would "be a little more organized, a little more business-wise."
The 82-year-old director additionally said, "[There] comes a point when you gotta stop the rhetoric, stop the teleprompters, people reading speeches somebody else probably wrote. Goes for all of them. Unless they can do it really well, like Ronald Regan or Bill Clinton did." He wanted someone who's "less time on TV, more time in office."