Eastwood stands by RNC speech

Posted at 2:25 PM, Sep 15, 2012
and last updated 2012-09-15 14:01:05-04

By CNN Political Unit

(CNN) – Actor Clint Eastwood says he does not care about the reaction to his stand up routine at the Republican convention, which drew more attention on the night Mitt Romney accepted the presidential nomination.

Eastwood spoke to CNN in his first television interview since the convention.

“One advantage of being my age is that you know what can they do to ya?” said Eastwood, 82. “You just have fun and do what you think and then you can say what you think, you don’t have to edit yourself.”

And the Romney campaign wasn’t editing his remarks at the RNC either.

Days after the speech, he told a newspaper in Carmel, California — where he was once mayor — that he devised the improvised speech shortly before stepping onstage and therefore it could not be vetted as others’ remarks were.

Eastwood ridiculed President Barack Obama, whom he imagined was seated in an empty chair beside him.

“What do you want me to tell Romney?” Eastwood asked. “I can’t tell him to do that to himself … You’re getting as bad as Biden … Of course we all know Biden is the intellect of the Democratic Party. Kind of a grin with a body behind it.”

The speech appeared to go over well in the convention hall, and Romney’s campaign called the remarks “a break from all the political speeches.”

Eastwood cast himself in that light when asked to respond to the perception by some that his remarks were disrespectful.

“I’m not being disrespectful,” he said. “I mean nobody wants to sit and insult people. Unfortunately, that’s the way politics is … people are always insulting one another that have different points of views than one another.”

“I only had one message and that was people look more than … you don’t have to idolize these people,” he told CNN. “They’re there to do a job for you. They’re there to work for you. And if they’re not doing the job, you have to evaluate that in your own mind. If they are doing it then you evaluate that in your own mind.”

And as to his expectations of the government, Eastwood said, “I think there just needs to be more work done, actual work and less talk.”

— CNN’s Gregory Wallace contributed to this report