LOS ANGELES (AP) - Clint Eastwood says it was a spur-of-the-moment decision. He says he thought of using an empty seat as a prop when someone backstage at the Republican National Convention asked him if he wanted to sit down.

His peculiar and sometimes rambling conversation with an imaginary President Barack Obama was supposed to be a ringing endorsement for Mitt Romney -- but instead, it opened Eastwood up to ridicule, and it became the talk of the blogosphere and social media.

In his first interview since then, Eastwood tells a small California weekly newspaper (the Carmel Pine Cone) that his speech was not only unscripted, it was pretty much spontaneous.

He says, "When I saw the stool sitting there, it gave me the idea -- I'll just put the stool out there and I'll talk to Mr. Obama and ask him why he didn't keep all of the promises he made to everybody."

Eastwood says he achieved what he set out to do, and made three points -- that Obama had broken a lot of promises, that people should get rid of politicians who aren't doing a good job, and that not everyone in Hollywood is from the left. He calls Obama "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."

He says Romney and running mate Paul Ryan later came backstage to thank him.