Clinton Eastwood has always been an anomaly — a conservative in Hollywood.
And the “Dirty Harry” actor, a former mayor of Carmel-By-The-Sea, Ca., has always been active in politics — even now at 89 years old. On Friday, he weighed in on the 2020 presidential race, picking a candidate you might not have expected.
“The best thing we could do is just get Mike Bloomberg in there,” Eastwood told the Wall Street Journal.
The actor, who now describes himself as a libertarian who has “respect for other people’s ideas and is willing to learn constantly,” said President Donald Trump has done “certain things” that he supported. But he said he does not appreciate the “ornery” state of current politics and would like the president to act “in a more genteel way, without tweeting and calling people names.”
“I would personally like for him to not bring himself to that level,” Eastwood said.
Eastwood set the political world on fire in 2012 when he gave his famous “empty-chair” speech at the Republican National Convention. In the speech, Eastwood, then backing GOP candidate Mitt Romney, conducted a mock interview with the chair, representing President Barack Obama.
“What do you want me to tell Romney?” Eastwood asked the empty chair. “I can’t tell him to do that to himself … you’re getting as bad as [former vice president Joe] Biden … of course we all know Biden is the intellect of the Democratic Party. Kind of a grin with a body behind it …”
Eastwood later asked, “Mr, President, how do you handle promises that you have made when you were running for election, and how do you handle them? I mean, what do you say to people?”
No answer from the empty chair.
Eastwood concluded his speech saying: “When somebody doesn’t do the job, you gotta let ’em go,” as he drew a finger across his throat.
Before the 2016 election, Eastwood told Esquire magazine he was supporting Trump over Hillary Clinton, adding that his anti-Obama views influenced his decision.
“I’d have to go for Trump … you know, ’cause she’s declared that she’s gonna follow in Obama’s footsteps. There’s been just too much funny business on both sides of the aisle. She’s made a lot of dough out of being a politician. I gave up dough to be a politician. I’m sure that Ronald Reagan gave up dough to be a politician.”
But Eastwood has also praised Trump’s more macho way. In 2017, during a conversation moderated by Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan, Eastwood mocked the politically correct world of today.
“[Trump’s] onto something, because secretly, everybody’s getting tired of political correctness, kissing up,” he said.”We’re really in a pussy generation. Everybody’s walking on eggshells,” he said. “We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist.”
And he said he probably couldn’t make “Dirty Harry” today.
“A lot of people thought it was politically incorrect,” Eastwood said. “That was at the beginning of the era that we’re in now, where everybody thinks everyone’s politically correct. We’re killing ourselves by doing that. We’ve lost our sense of humor.”