TAMPA – Hollywood heavyweight Clint Eastwood made a scene-stealing appearance on the GOP convention stage before a welcoming audience Thursday night ahead ofMitt Romney's acceptance speech for his party's presidential nomination.

"I think it may be time for somebody else to come along and solve the problem," said Eastwood, 82, who endorsed Romney this month at a fundraiser in Idaho. "When someone does not do the job, you have got to let them go."

In an unusual speech for what is typically a highly scripted affair, Eastwood talked to an empty chair, which he addressed as if President Obama was sitting there. At one point Eastwood suggested the imaginary president had told him to say derogatory things. "What do you want me to tell Romney? I can't tell him to do that. I can't tell him to do that to himself," he said.

He criticized Vice President Biden as "kind of a grin with a body behind it" and sarcastically described him as "the intellect of the Democratic Party."

Following his remarks, the Romney campaign issued a statement defending the movie star. "Judging an American icon like Clint Eastwood through a typical political lens doesn't work. His ad libbing was a break from all the political speeches, and the crowd enjoyed it."

Read more at USA Today