The Obama campaign team has shrugged off a bizarre attack on the president by Clint Eastwood at the Republican convention.
The Hollywood star, who is a staunch Republican supporter, appeared shortly before Mitt Romney's key speech and was supposed to be on stage for five minutes.
But he ended up speaking for 12 minutes in what was a surreal conversation with an imaginary Barack Obama on an empty chair beside him.
Eastwood told the chair where he felt Mr Obama had gone wrong and how he had failed to deliver on his promises, then declared that it was time for him to go.
"Mr President, how do you handle promises that you have made when you were running for election, and how do you handle them? I mean, what do you say to people?," he asked.
The 82-year-old actor and director also talked about the president's unfulfilled promise to close the US prison at Guantanamo, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and lawyers.
"When somebody doesn't do the job, you gotta let 'em go," Eastwood said. The tough guy actor of "Dirty Harry" fame then drew a finger across his throat.
The Obama campaign team was unruffled by the sketch. His office posted a photo on Twitter of the back of the president's chair with Mr Obama's head visible and the caption: "This seat's taken."
Spokesman Ben LaBolt made his own surrealist joke when asked to comment, saying: "Referring all questions on this to Salvador Dali."
The 20th century artist was famous for his surrealist paintings which, as well as being considered technically brilliant, contained the element of surprise and absurdity that characterises the surrealist school of art.
Mr Obama's team was not the only group to find the whole appearance slightly bizarre.
Within minutes, Twitter was alight with comments mocking the Oscar-winning director and one joker started an invisible chair account @invisibleObama that had soon amassed tens of thousands of followers.
"Clint, my hero, is coming across as sad and pathetic," tweeted film critic Roger Ebert . "He didn't need to do this to himself. It's unworthy of him."
"I heard that Clint Eastwood was channelling me at the RNC," tweeted comic actor Bob Newhart , known for his one-sided conversation bits. "My lawyers and I are drafting our lawsuit."
"Is this a segment for 'Mrs. Eastwood and Company'?" asked Star Trek actor Zachary Quinto , referring to the Keeping Up With The Kardashians reality series starring Eastwood's wife, Dina.
The Romney campaign insisted the crowd had lapped up the mock interview.
"Judging an American icon like Clint Eastwood through a typical political lens doesn't work," a spokesman said.
"His ad-libbing was a break from all the political speeches, and the crowd enjoyed it."