Ann Romney: Clint Eastwood ‘unique’
By: Tim Mak
August 31, 2012 07:40 AM EDT
Ann Romney on Friday offered a lukewarm review for Clint Eastwood’s bizarre “empty chair” address at the Republican National Convention, saying that the Oscar-winner is a “unique guy and he did a unique thing” but she trying to shift the message back to her husband.
“We appreciated Clint’s support, of course,” said Romney on CBS’s “This Morning.”
Ann Romney was pressed several times to weigh in on Eastwood’s strange speech, and she responded each time with a short statement and a pivot back to her husband.
“I didn’t know it was coming,” she said. “He’s a unique guy, and he did a unique thing last night.”
At times during the interview, it seemed Ann Romney had an air of resignation about being asked about Eastwood rather than talking about her husband’s speech.
She said she wished more people could have seen the biographical video about Mitt.
“I don’t think anyone can go the way Clint Eastwood wants it to go. We were just thrilled, frankly. I was thrilled, for his support,” she said when asked about Eastwood on NBC’s “Today” show.
“I frankly hadn’t given it much thought. I didn’t know he was coming on stage,” she said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) on Friday made his confusion and displeasure for the event more obvious, saying he “cringed” during Eastwood’s routine.
“I’m a fan of Clint Eastwood, in terms of movies,” said the Wisconsin governor. “I was expecting, remember during the Super Bowl, when he did the voiceover in the ad, ‘it’s time to bring America back,’ ‘we’re tough we can come back’. I didn’t get that. Overall in the convention that one moment, which I cringed about, I would have rather seen those two families.”
Political commentators were even more aggressively critical of Eastwood’s speech, which sent the convention schedule back and distracted from Mitt Romney’s speech later on.
Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said that Eastwood was not only “rambling” but delivered “highly off-color jokes that a lot of people [in middle America] would cringe about. Highly offensive.”
Time Senior Political Analyst Mark Halperin added that Eastwood “pushed Governor Romney’s speech later, broke the momentum…”
“I think we’re in the bubble and we criticize the choreography,” admitted “Meet the Press” host David Gregory. “This is the exception. Here we are at six [a.m.] talking about the distraction. That is not what Mitt Romney wanted.”
Watching Ann Romney during the Eastwood address, according to NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson, was like watching “the mother of the bride listening to a drunken wedding toast.”