Clint Eastwood says he has "nothing against" President Barack Obama, but believes that Mitt Romney will do a better job at creating jobs and bringing back the American economy.
In an interview aired Thursday evening with Fox News' Sean Hannity, the actor/director, who caused a sensation with "empty chair" speech at the Republican National Convention in August, said he decided to speak "from the heart" and take an active role in the campaign to raise issues "the average citizen wonders about."
"Why are we at the stage we are with the economy? Why are we at the stage we are in the world?" he said, explaining questions that prompted him into getting more involved.
"There are . . . a lot of people who are, who feel dissatisfied, from voting for him last time [and] are afraid to admit that they, maybe, made a mistake," Eastwood said, adding that he simply wanted to let people know it's okay to like Obama and still not vote for him this time around.
Eastwood said Romney in his view "is just a perfect guy for the job," given his background as a former businessman, lawyer, and governor with experience dealing with complicated issues.
"And I think, along with Paul Ryan, you have a great team that is out there," he added.
The Hollywood icon also said he decided to get involved because a "certain feeling you have within yourself" that tells you "it is time to speak up."
"I have nothing against this fellow that's in," he said referring to Obama, although he added that he has been "feeling very resentful" lately "about the whole thing in Benghazi."
"That's been kind of a tragedy that should have never happened," he said, referring to the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya that left four Americans dead.
Eastwood said the American people "deserve a really straightforward talk" from the president, not just on the facts surrounding Benghazi, but about other issues as well related to the campaign.
"But a lot of what we are seeing recently is not straight forward."
The Oscar-winning director, who also cut an ad for Romney that encourages people to let Obama go, credited fellow Oscar-winning actor and Romney supporter Jon Voight with prompting him to get involved in the presidential race.
"I was sitting with [Voight] and a couple of other people, commiserating about the situation with the economy and everything," Eastwood said.
"He said, 'Well, why doesn't anybody in Hollywood ever speak up?' I thought, yes, you know, he's right. We are kind of chicken. We are sitting around, you know, kind of going, 'Let somebody else do it.'"
Eastwood said he was surprised a short time later to be invited to speak at the Republican convention.
He showed up not knowing really what he would say. "The chair idea," he said, "just came out of the air."
While he was waiting backstage, Eastwood said a guy asked if he wanted to sit down. "I said, 'No, but why don't you sit it out and take it next to the podium.'"
"That was really stupid," he told Hannity. "Why did I do that? But people started to come up [after the speech] and say, 'Well, that was fun.'''
"Maybe, a little fun was what I was looking for, I don't know," Eastwood said.
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