Clint Eastwood’s prime-time address co-starring an imaginary version of President Barack Obama in an empty chair generated a lot of press attention coming out of the Republic National Convention, with some social media users going so far as to demand “Eastwood/Chair” on the ballot for 2016. Despite the actor’s critical stance on Obama’s administration, the president came out and diffused any hostility with a simple message: no offense taken.
“One thing about being president or running for president – if you’re easily offended, you should probably choose another profession,” Obama told USA Today following the speech. “I think the last few movies that he’s made have been terrific,” he added, lauding Eastwood as “a great actor, and an even better director.”
Eastwood took the stage in Tampa on the same evening that Mitt Romney formally accepted the GOP nomination. His unorthodox message drew mixed reviews, as some accused the 82-year-old of rambling and overshadowing Romney’s own speech. The crowd seemed receptive of Eastwood however, reciting his famous Dirty Harry line “make my day” along with him.
“What do you want me to tell Romney?” Eastwood asked the empty chair onstage with him. “I can’t tell him to do that. I can’t tell him to do that to himself.”
“You’re crazy, you’re absolutely crazy. You’re getting as bad as Biden,” the actor added.
“He’s a great messenger. The guy is an American treasure,” Romney senior strategist Stuart Stevens said of Eastwood’s speech.
While the Republican Party certainly got their message across during their shortened three-day convention, Obama and the Democrats will be bringing their own into Charlotte, North Carolina after Labor Day. With proceedings beginning Tuesday, Obama let it be known that he will not be using any of the antics Eastwood projected onto his empty chair.
“I think we’ll be playing this pretty straight,” Obama said.