Clint Eastwood — Who Once Lectured Obama in 'Empty Chair' Speech at RNC — Now Backs Bloomberg Over Trump
Eastwood, 89, opened up about his politics and his worldview in a new interview with The Wall Street Journal, which ended with the Richard Jewell filmmaker saying: “The best thing we could do is just get Mike Bloomberg in there.”
Though Eastwood admitted to the Journal in a story published Friday that he approves of “certain things that [President Donald] Trump’s done,” he said he wished Trump would lay off social media and restrain from using schoolyard name-calling on Twitter.
“I would personally like for him to not bring himself to that level,” Eastwood told the Journal.
Eastwood has used spectacle and Hollywood showmanship in his own political activity before — most famously (or infamously, depending) at the 2012 Republican National Convention. when he gave an improvised speech to an empty chair that was meant to represent then-President Barack Obama. Eastwood endorsed Mitt Romney against Obama.
The Gran Torino star has also held political office before, in the ’80s serving as a “nonpartisan” mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, a small beach town on the coast.
“I was a Republican, but people never thought about their parties except at the national level,” Eastwood told the Journal about his experience as the town’s mayor for two years, starting in 1986. “I drank a lot of tea and chatted with people. I told people ‘I’ll fix this, and I’ll fix that.’”
Eastwood has historically backed Republican candidates on that national scale. In 2008, he supported the late Sen. John McCain in his race against then-candidate Obama.
In a 2016 interview with Esquire, Eastwood said he was going to pick Trump over 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
“That’s a tough one, isn’t it? I’d have to go for Trump,” he told the magazine at the time. “[Clinton]’s declared that she’s gonna follow in Obama’s footsteps.”
He said then though that “there’s been just too much funny business on both sides of the aisle.”
Eastwood is the latest in Bloomberg’s melange of A-list endorsements.
In January, Judge Judy Sheindlin backed the former three-term New York City mayor and defended the wealth he built with his eponymous business and news company as an accomplishment rather than a criticism.
“Rich is just tangentially what happens from the result of being brilliant,” she told PEOPLE in early January.
A few weeks later, Academy Award-winning actor Michael Douglas officially joined his supporters, along with fashion designer Tim Gunn.
“The fact that he doesn’t need people to pay for his campaign means that he doesn’t owe anybody,” Douglas told PEOPLE in January. “Do I hope eventually that money in political campaigns will become a thing of the past? Certainly. I think Mike would be one of the first ones to say that.”