"If somebody is dumb enough to ask me to go to political convention and say something, they're gonna have to take what they get," said Eastwood in an interview Tuesday with the television show "Extra" about the convention speech that won rave reviews, puzzled looks and slacked jaws.Remember, Clint Eastwood didn't want to have a "a written-out speech" because his big, hyped-all-week-long surprise appearance was "supposed to be a contrast with all the scripted speeches, because I’m Joe Citizen." And the Romney campaign was "dumb enough" to think that was a great idea:
[Top strategist Stuart] Stevens and his team loved the idea of the tough-talking American icon greeting the millions of viewers tuning in to the main event. But Eastwood, unlike every other speaker at the tightly controlled convention, had free rein to say or do whatever he wanted without the campaign’s approval. Eastwood has said just minutes before going live, he was handed a chair to sit on, which he promptly decided should become a prop in his speech.Romney now has his own hand-picked American icon calling him dumb. Well played, Mitt. Well played.
Many in the Romney high command watched in fury. Later, a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that for many voters — especially independents and casual viewers, exactly the ones convention organizers hoped to reach — the Eastwood skit, not Romney’s speech, was the highlight of the convention.