During a Fox News town hall event on Thursday, presidential candidate and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz suggested that he would address immigration issues by having members of Congress talk to an empty chair. Twitter quickly pounced, comparing the moment to Clint Eastwood’s infamous speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
“What I want to do is I want to put an empty chair in the room, and that chair represents the American people,” Schultz said, gesturing toward his own empty chair on set. “We're not going to leave the room until we solve the problem for the American people. The problem that we have with both parties, the American people are not in the room.”
His comments quickly sparked memories of Eastwood’s 2012 speech in support of Senator Mitt Romney – who ran against President Barack Obama – when Eastwood spoke to an empty chair that he pretended was occupied by Obama.
It didn’t take long for the 88-year-old actor to start trending on Twitter:
Hey Howard Schultz!!!! Clint Eastwood called he wants his chair back https://t.co/swqs8tfrGC— Joe Molloy 💨🌊💥💓🌈 (@JoeJoeMolloy) April 5, 2019
Clint Eastwood’s empty chair speech >>> Howard Schultz’s empty chair speech— Changing Temperatures Suck (@AlwaysFlacko) April 5, 2019
Howard Schultz just went Clint Eastwood at the RNC all over Fox News with his empty chair. pic.twitter.com/UZG2ihEFGr— Grant Stern (@grantstern) April 5, 2019
What are you talking about? Every election cycle should have an old white guy talking to an empty chair! Urs Truly, #ClintEastwood— Mike (@MHardcore1) April 5, 2019
I assumed 88 year old Clint had finally ridden off into the sunset when I saw him trending.— Captain America (@TLo7154) April 5, 2019
But it is due to Howard Schultz using the brilliant 'empty chair' tactic, because it worked out so well when Eastwood forever diminished his stature trying it.
Then there are those who didn’t like Schultz’s “empty chair” idea, without it invoking memories of Eastwood’s speech.
the empty chair represents the people who care about the Howard Schultz campaign.— Doug Coulter (@dfc123) April 5, 2019
That chair is as empty as your rhetoric which is just full of platitudes. #BoycottStarbucks— Steamboater (@Steamboater) April 5, 2019
Ugh. Schultz IS an empty chair.— Mark A Ward (@mward212) April 5, 2019
Still, there were some who agreed with Schultz’s perspective.
Liked Howard Schultz answer on immigration during the Fox Town Hall.— John Straubinger (@johnstraubinger) April 5, 2019
.@HowardSchultz is absolutely right about immigration.— Michael Buffington (@MBuffington) April 4, 2019
See how Twitter reacted after Fox News host Martha MacCallum questioned the effects of the #MeToo movement:
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