The Straits Times
Published on Oct 23, 2012

Clint Eastwood: I'm liberal socially, conservative fiscally


While waiting for Clint Eastwood to arrive and talk about his new film - Trouble With The Curve - a group of journalists is making jokes about the empty chair meant for him, parodying the actor's much-derided speech at the Republican National Convention a few weeks earlier.

Eastwood, 82, had shown his support for the Republican presidential ticket by talking to an "invisible" President Barack Obama. This ill-judged speech to an empty chair was roundly slated as rambling and incoherent, and briefly turned the Hollywood icon and multiple Oscar winner into a national joke. At the same time, it raised questions about the octogenarian's judgment.

Regarding the negative reaction to his convention speech, he says: "I don't know. I was just having a good time. I mean, they asked me to do it, and I did like the team of the two guys (Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan)." He goes on to describe himself as a "liberal socially and conservative fiscally", adding that his main concern for this election is the national debt.

"Having been born in 1930 and raised in the Depression, I've been through a bit of this before and watched my parents go through it. So I'm concerned. I have great sympathy for people who aren't employed. I think these are things we're not paying enough attention to, neither the prior administration and especially not the current. They're all at fault."