Close Friend of Romney: Clint Eastwood Is Thursday's 'Mystery Speaker'

The long-time actor and conservative is slated to give a speech Thursday night.

Actor and director Clint Eastwood speaks with reporters during the opening of the Warner Bros. Theater at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

A close friend of Mitt and Ann Romney confirmed to Whispers Wednesday night that Clint Eastwood is indeed Thursday's mystery speaker at the Republican National Convention.

 "It's him," said Paul Gilbert, who has known the Romney family for nearly a decade and served as the GOP presidential candidate's Arizona state chair. "I can confirm that, 100 percent."

Eastwood, a long-time Republican and former mayor of his hometown in California, Carmel, endorsed Romney earlier this year. At an August fundraiser, Eastwood said he believed Romney would "restore a decent tax system" to create "fairness."

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Politicians on the convention floor, however, weren't too excited about the man with no name.

"I don't know," said Florida tea party congressman Allen West of the Eastwood pick. "I don't know."

Phyllis Schlafly, an 88-year-old conservative activist known for her opposition to modern feminism, told Whispers from the convention floor: "I don't think I have anything to say about that. I don't go to the movies."

But "he'll pull it out," she predicted of Eastwood's speech.

Former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, who famously resigned as chair of the Republican Governors Association in 2009 after admitting an affair with an Argentine woman, said he had no idea if Eastwood was coming.

"But I know," said Jason Miller, a Republican operative who once served on Sanford's campaign and who was standing with the governor. Miller refused to confirm it was Eastwood. "First rule of fight club is don't talk about fight club," he joked.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer gushed when she heard the mystery speaker's identity. "Oh, I just think he is fabulous," she said.

Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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