Clint Eastwood rocked the GOP convention Thursday night with a “surprise” appearance that really wasn’t much of a surprise by the time he strode on stage.
“Save a little for Mitt,” he said as applause engulfed him.
In a rambling, 12-minute address in which Eastwood opened the key prime-time hour televised nationwide, the star sometimes spoke off microphone, making him hard to hear. The Hollywood mega-star said it was time for President Obama to go – and uttered his famous “make my day” line from his “Dirty Harry” movies.
“When somebody does not do the job, you’ve got to let them go,” Eastwood said.
At times, his appearance took on the bizarre as Eastwood addressed an empty chair next to the podium that, he said, represented Obama.
He referred to the night Obama claimed the nomination in Denver four years ago “talking about hope and change and `yes, we can.’” Eastwood noted it was dark that night with people lighting candles.
“I just thought, `This is great.’ Oprah was crying. I was even crying. I haven’t cried that hard since I found out there are 23 million unemployed people in this country.
“That is something to cry for because that is a disgrace, a national disgrace. We haven’t done enough, obviously. Whatever interest they have is not strong enough. I think now possibly may be time for someone else to come along and solve the problem.”
Eastwood, 82, didn’t appear to use a script. He gave the imaginary president a hard time for not closing the Guantanamo Bay military prison and for considering the idea of trying terrorists in New York City.
“I’ve got to give credit where credit’s due,” Eastwood said. “You did overrule that finally. Now we’re moving onward.”
He also chided Obama for foretelling the withdrawal date from Afghanistan.
“Mr. Romney asked the only sensible question: `Why give that date out now?’ Why not just bring them home tomorrow morning?”
Once, Eastwood said to the chair, “I’m not going to shut up. It’s my turn.”
Another time, he asked, “What do you want me to say to Romney? He can’t do that to himself.”
Later, he suggested that Obama step down and continue using a government plane, but not Air Force One.
“You’re an ecological man. Why would you want to drive that truck around?” Eastwood said.
Then he added, “Sorry. I can’t do that to myself either.”
The crowd roared.
He ended by saying of his famous line, “I’ll start it. You finish it.
Yelled the crowd, “Make my day!”