President Barack Obama said in an interview published Sunday he took no offense at Clint Eastwood's prime-time address at the Republican National Convention, in which the legendary actor and director posed questions to an empty chair, which he said represented the Democratic incumbent.
"One thing about being president or running for president -- if you're easily offended, you should probably choose another profession," Obama told USA Today.
Eastwood's speech came the same night Mitt Romney accepted the Republican presidential nomination in Tampa, Florida. The sprawling, off-the-cuff address drew criticism from some, who said Eastwood's unorthodox remarks overshadowed Romney. The Republican nominee's advisers wrote off the criticism, saying the crowd found Eastwood's remarks funny.
"He's a great messenger. The guy is an American treasure," Romney senior strategist Stuart Stevens said.
Obama agreed with that sentiment in the USA Today interview, calling Eastwood "a great actor, and an even better director."
"I think the last few movies that he's made have been terrific," the president added.
That appreciation, however, doesn't mean Democrats will try to mimic Eastwood's performance at their own confab, slated to begin in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday.
"I think we'll be playing this pretty straight," Obama said.