msnbc | September 09, 2012
>>> now to a development in one of the biggest stories to come out of the republican convention . for the first time clint eastwood is speaking out about his now famous speech in tampa in which he spoke to an imaginary president obama .
>> i'm not going to shut up. it's my turn. what do you want me to tell romney ? i can't tell him to do that. he can't do that to himself.
>> now in an exclusive interview with his hometown paper the carmel pine cone eastwood is shedding light on what the romney campaign expected from him and what it did not expect. paul miller , publisher of the carmel pine cone and the man who interviewed clint eastwood and wrote up this article, glad to have you here.
>> thank you, alex. great to see you again.
>> you, too. we'll let everyone know we have known each other for years. in fact, you're the guy who hired me for my first on-air job. thanks for that. let's go to clint eastwood who told you the romney camp wanted to know what he was going to say. he told them, you can't do that with me because i don't know what i'm going to say. they really had no idea?
>> exactly. clint saw this from the very beginning as a spontaneous, extemporaneous presentation that not only did he intend to make but that he was expected to make. a contrast to the scripted speeches that everyone else at the convention was making. and he certainly did change things up a bit.
>> so what about pulling this chair, this stool, this empty chair, how did that idea come about?
>> well, one of the things i tried to really paint a picture of in my story, and i think i actually did it pretty well. a lot of people have complimented me on making -- laying out the logistics and the time line and the ins and outs, what happens when you are a speaker at a national convention . how are you treated? where do you go? yes, i walked clint through it very carefully one step at a time. and i tried to pin him down when exactly did this idea of the chair hit you? of course, he told me the story. i was backstage waiting to go on. there was a stool there. and a fellow kept saying to me, don't you want to sit down? actually, clint said to me something i didn't mention in the story. he said they acted like i was 99 years old or something. he said, i looked at the stool. i thought about the stool. i said, well, i'll just put that out there and act like it's president obama and ask him why he hasn't kept the promises he made to the american people .
>> look, he's an actor. he knows how to improvise. he knows how to do this. you and i both know as does pretty much everybody else when you go and you speak at a national convention you've got teleprompters. you have speeches completely scripted out. it's kind of a big deal if you even go off course with that. clint eastwood by your reporting had nothing written down.
>> that's right.
>> he just went out there and winged it.
>> yeah. he had no notes. he went out there and winged it. he had basic three points in his mind that he wanted to make. and beyond that, he winged it. exactly. and he said to me, he's an actor, but i don't know if he's a good improviser. i've seen him speak at public events around the carmel area. he's funny. he's spontaneous. he's relaxed. he was all of those things at the convention. the one thing he wasn't, he wasn't scripted.
>> he's not known as a speech giver, per se . i think even as mayor he didn't necessarily do that. there were things that he wanted to get across. what were the main points?
>> yes. the first point he wanted to make was that hollywood is not only people of left wing political persuasion or as he calls them, lefties. the second one was that the president in clint 's view has not fulfilled the promises he made when he took office. and the third one was that there's no reason for the american people to worship a politician like he's royalty or something. if he's not doing the job, you let him go. that's the way he put it at the convention.
>> he also said, paul, president obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the american people , to you. he's not backing down at all.
>> yes. he told me -- i'm sorry?
>> he doesn't back down at all.
>> no, no, no. he's adamant there should be a change in the white house , definitely. he thinks that romney will do a much better job than president obama has done.
>> it is a very interesting interview in the carmel pine cone . thank you, paul miller , for speaking with me. and thanks for getting me launched all those years ago. appreciate it.
>> thank you, alex. you're doing