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September 10th, 2012
12:03 PM ET

Actor Clint Eastwood breaks silence on his speech at the Republican National Convention

In the wake of both the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention are memories of great political fervor, plenty of one-liners and of course, empty chair references. Clint Eastwood’s unscripted speech addressed to an empty chair was one of the biggest headlines from the conventions and one of them finally includes the Hollywood star’s own comments. The actor and director spoke about the controversy to Paul Miller, the publisher of Eastwood’s hometown paper, The Carmel Pine Cone. Miller joins John Berman on “Early Start” this morning regarding his exclusive interview.

 Clint Eastwood told Miller that his speech was “mission accomplished”. That meant, “He irritated the people, I believe, he intended to irritate, and pleased the people he intended to please,” Miller says.

Miller says the speech was largely spur-of-the-moment. “The fact that he would participate wasn’t finalized until just a week before he showed up,” at the convention, Miller says. “The idea of using the empty chair as a stand-in for the president didn’t strike him until he was backstage and about to walk out to the lectern.”

One of the major points Miller says Eastwood told him he wanted to make in his speech and accomplished is getting across that, “politicians aren’t royalty or something. When they’re not doing the job, you gotta let em go.”

Considering the media firestorm that followed his RNC appearance, Miller describes Eastwood as a person who takes things as they come. Miller says, “I hope that we’ll be that way when we’re 82 and have his level of accomplishments."

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