Geraldo: Eastwood speech was 'buffoonery'

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 31, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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LAURA INGRAHAM: In the "Fridays with Geraldo" segment tonight. Clint Eastwood's surprise visit at the Republican convention was perhaps the most unique, perplexing, engaging and controversial speech ever. Some of the reviews are mixed but well, we'll let you be the judge. Take a listen.


EASTWOOD: We own this country. Thank you. Thank you.

And yes we, we own it. And it's not you owning it and not politicians owning it -- politicians are employees of ours. And they are just going to come around and beg for votes every few years and it's the same old deal. But I just think that it's important that you realize that and that you're the best in the world.

And whether you're a Democrat or whether you're a Republican or whether you are a libertarian or whatever, you are the best and we should not ever forget that. And when somebody does not do the job, we've got to let them go.


INGRAHAM: Joining us now from New York, Fox News anchor Geraldo Rivera.


INGRAHAM: Now, Geraldo, let me just tell you right off the bat. I loved Clint Eastwood from beginning to end because it had everyone on edge.

RIVERA: That's for sure.

INGRAHAM: It was an unscripted moment in a buttoned-up convention. And I think the Romneys were on the edge of their seat. I think people in the place ate it up. They loved it. And it drove the left absolutely bonkers. I loved it, I love every minute of it. Go ahead.

RIVERA: Well, as the person Laura who previously had the most notorious relationship with a chair I am offended that he stole my territory there. You know I got my nose famously broken by one and everyone talked about that.

It's the only thing trending though. It absolutely obscured Mitt Romney's speech. I thought it was buffoonery. I thought it was really badly done. If you are going to do stand-up comedy you have to have good writing. You have to -- you know, he went off for 12 minutes.

I noticed you excerpted a clip at the top. If someone had done that for the 12 minutes and cut it down to a couple of minutes it would have been much more sustainable. It would have been funnier. It would have flowed more. It wouldn't have been so anxiety-producing people on edge.

INGRAHAM: Oh, great.

RIVERA: As you could see poor Ann Romney biting her fingernails. It was just -- I thought it was dreadful.

INGRAHAM: Well look. Maybe it -- maybe it could have been a little shorter. Ok but remember, he's a -- he improvises at the piano, right? He's a jazz pianist. He's a man of many talents, obviously a director, actor, writer, musician. So he's up there improvising. He didn't have the -- the slick teleprompter deal.

And I don't think, I think as Mark Steyn stated I don't think that would have been worked for him. He's Clint Eastwood.

RIVERA: But look at that -- it look, like he's wearing his grandfather's suit there.

INGRAHAM: Do you think -- you don't think he did that on purpose.

RIVERA: I don't think he did it on purpose.


RIVERA: I think that the whole thing with the hair and the suit. It looks like he got out of Joe's -- Joe's bar, stumbled in to do this -- to do -- ok, you know, he took it way too casually. You have an audience of tens of millions of people. You are bringing on the presumptive nominee or the person you want to be president of the United States.


INGRAHAM: It was -- no you know what he was?

RIVERA: It's not a time for levity though, it really is.

INGRAHAM: You know it's not a time for levity my God did we need some laughs. I mean we need -- the country needs to laugh.

RIVERA: They want Jon Stewart if you want to laugh.

INGRAHAM: Well no, well actually, I think this -- I'll be curious to what Jon Stewart says. I mean everyone will poke fun of it but I saw him more as a warm up for Marco Rubio, right? The big contrast.

RIVERA: Poor Marco Rubio.

INGRAHAM: Marco Rubio was earnest. But this was a warm-up. This is more like Don Rickles than American politics.

RIVERA: Come on. You know this is badly, badly produced. It was badly produced.

INGRAHAM: Hold on Geraldo, hold on. Geraldo, have you -- have you said anything similar about the following liberal people in celebritydom who come out for Obama, Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffin --


RIVERA: This isn't about liberal and conservative. This is about my wanting Mitt Romney to be presented in a way -- Romney's speech was terrific.

INGRAHAM: Oh really.

RIVERA: Romney was strong and humane and compassionate.

INGRAHAM: He's not Romney. He's an actor.

RIVERA: I know but when you have this kind of distraction where he's making sex jokes about the President of the United States. There is no nobility there.



RIVERA: It's no, you know it's not even tongue in cheek or a brilliantly clever satire. It's nothing. It's just a guy going up there and vamping.


RIVERA: I could go up and vamp for 12 minutes I could be funnier than that. What it looked like was an 82-year-old man who lost his way. That's what it looked like.

INGRAHAM: I love you, Geraldo, but you could never have done what Clint Eastwood did last night. Neither could I. But you could not have done that. But I appreciate it.

RIVERA: His gun is bigger.

INGRAHAM: Yes. Well, he's 82 years old and I think he's given us a little life lesson with what he said last night. And it was basic common sense.

RIVERA: They have a new -- he's new verb. You know, Eastwooding now. It's like swift-boating.

INGRAHAM: Oh enough said. Enough said, the same people who prop up the left-wing Hollywood celebrities never criticize but everybody on the left is criticizing him.

RIVERA: This is not about the left, this is about -- and I wanted Marco Rubio to shine.

INGRAHAM: He did shine. They all shined.

RIVERA: And yet everybody was still murmuring about Clint Eastwood when it came time for Marco Rubio.

INGRAHAM: Yes here's a -- here's a news flash, Geraldo. The left does not have a monopoly on minority thought nor does it have a monopoly on the entertainment thought in this country. And that's what's driven the left, maybe not you but the left crazy.


RIVERA: Well that was -- that was goofy. That was goofy.

INGRAHAM: All right, let's talk about something else that maybe you and I can agree on, which was the testimonials by the couples who have been helped by Mitt Romney over the years specifically --


RIVERA: I'm so glad you brought that up.

INGRAHAM: -- yes, specifically this one particular part of the presentation. Let's listen.


TED OPAROWSKI, MITT ROMNEY'S FRIEND: In 1979, a tragedy struck our family when my youngest son David was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease.

PAT OPAROWSKI, MITT ROMNEY'S FRIEND: Throughout that agonizing period, Mitt took time from his busy schedule to visit David. They developed a loving friendship. How many men do you know would take the time out of their busy lives to visit a terminally-ill 14-year-old and help him settle his affairs?


INGRAHAM: Geraldo, your reaction?

RIVERA: I thought that was brilliant. I almost was crying when I saw that couple. They were so real and they gave life to Mitt Romney who has this image of an aristocrat as a guy who is above the fray. You mentioned the monopoly man with the top hat.

But here is a couple telling a story from the heart in a way that was so sincere --


INGRAHAM: It was wonderful.

RIVERA: -- humanizing this guy. That's exactly what you wanted to remember. And that's exactly why Clint Eastwood was such a disaster.

INGRAHAM: I think --

RIVERA: Nobody remembers that couple now. They only remember that stupid chair.

INGRAHAM: Oh I think people remember all of it. I think people have the ability to take in a lot and from different aspects of this. But Geraldo we really appreciate it thanks so much.

RIVERA: Have a nice weekend.

INGRAHAM: You too.

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