CNBC Excerpts: Award-Winning Actor & Director Clint Eastwood on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Today



Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with award-winning Actor & Director Clint Eastwood today on CNBC's "Squawk Box." Following are links to video of the interview on, and

All references must be sourced to CNBC.


CLINT EASTWOOD: I just decided to go a little different route because I figured-- they've already heard that from about ten other people in front of me. So I just try something a little-- new. And it was probably-- seemed odd at the time. But, you know, I'm an odd person.

BECKY QUICK: What reaction did you get from people when you came back home, when you talked to people on the streets and things?

CLINT EASTWOOD: Well the party line, either loved it or hated it. So-- but then after a while everybody-- even the people that hated it said, "Well, what the heck. It seemed like it was kind of fun thing to do."

BECKY QUICK: You know, it's funny 'cause when we sat here last year we talked about the ad that you had done for the Super Bowl for Chrysler. And the outrage that came to that. There were a lot of people on the right who were saying, "Oh this was an endorsement of President Obama."


BECKY QUICK: And then you had the outrage that came after the RNC where people were saying, "Oh this was an outrage too." Are you surprised by the feedback that you got just-- whether it was from—the media

CLINT EASTWOOD: Well, you know, it wasn't—

BECKY QUICK: or other places.

CLINT EASTWOOD: --it wasn't-- a bouquet for-- maybe it was just a bouquet for working people and trying to be encouraging where if there's a momentum going which-- everybody thought there might be at that particular time-- at least in the auto industry then let's keep it going. So that's all it was intended to do. And the commercial did. I notice this year-- Chrysler's doing very well as well as-- GM and-- Ford. But-- you know, I don't know how long. If it slows back down again may be really hard to get the engine up.

BECKY QUICK: But that's what I mean, have you been surprised that-- these messages created such outrage? I mean, have you been surprised--


BECKY QUICK: --by the reactions?

CLINT EASTWOOD: I'm not surprised at anything. And, you know, the one thing-- about getting into the senior status of life you don't really care. You just say what you say and then you can get away with it.


CLINT EASTWOOD: It's the same message that I've put out with the empty chair. Let's get going. Let's get to work. And-- Mr. Obama won. And-- let's get out there. Let's get out there. There's no budget coming in. Who's doing these? I mean, you got a big staff, a lot of people. Isn't anybody helping? Isn't anybody jumping in there? People going places on expensive rides. Let's get in there and get it done.


CLINT EASTWOOD: Yeah. I am surprised. You know, I know it's always-- very easy to get mired down in-- political quagmire. But-- it seems-- right now we're in a spot where just nothing's getting done. There's just a lot of people standing, looking at one another.

And-- maybe it just appears that way to us who are outside of the-- beltway. But-- right now it's very disappointing. I just wish-- you know, the election's over. Everybody's-- we should be moving ahead. And-- the leaders aren't stepping up.

BECKY QUICK: Do you think that's a reflection—of poor leadership? Do you think it's a reflection of-- people in America, look, it's a difficult problem. And they don't want to hear the bad news or face the hard choices either. Where-- do you think it kind of comes from?

CLINT EASTWOOD: Well-- it's probably-- all of the above. But mostly I think the people have to hear what's-- in order to pressure the people in-- Washington to move a little quicker. I think they have to hear from the public out there. And maybe the public is a little lackadaisical as far as-- you know, most-- the average laymen out there sitting-- going, "Well, nothing I can do about it. So I'll just wait it out." But meanwhile-- you know, I don't want to wait too long.


CLINT EASTWOOD: They were just dismissed and that was the end of it. And that's kind of-- it's almost like they don't give a damn. And so if they don't give a damn, why did they expect anybody else to? And obviously they'll-- you know, people get complacent and then things really go bad.

BECKY QUICK: That was an example though of a Democrat and a Republican working together. Simpson's a Republican, Bowles is a Democrat. Do you think there's room for that in Washington today?

CLINT EASTWOOD: Well, there is with those two guys. But-- they are probably smarter than most. But yeah, there's room for it. There has to be room for it. You've got-- Republicans-- in the majority of the House-- the House of Congress. And-- Senate is-- majority is-- Democrats. And--you've got the presidency. Somebody's got to give somewhere along the line. And if they don't give then it'll just be more of the same. Then we'll slip back into recession again which is what-- would be very worrisome this time.

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