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Paul Krugman: Republican Party's Base 'Is By And Large Elderly White People Arguing With Empty Chairs'

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Paul Krugman really appreciated Clint Eastwood's performance at the Republican National Convention, since he thinks it highlighted a larger truth about the Republican Party.

"The Republican Party is where it is because that's where the base is," Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, said Sunday on ABC's "This Week." "And you watched that whole primary process; Republican candidates had to appeal to their base, which is by and large elderly white people arguing with empty chairs."

Krugman was referring to Eastwood's speech at the Republican National Convention, in which the 82-year-old actor and director argued with an empty chair representing President Barack Obama.

Though some critics have called the Republican and Democratic National Conventions political theater, Krugman said he found the conventions to be "enormously informative" and "extremely effective educational programs." In addition to mocking Eastwood, he offered up the example of the Republican vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan.

"We saw the implosion of Paul Ryan," Krugman said, "because people got to see him speaking at length on national TV."

Krugman's criticism of Republicans came as Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat, argued on "This Week" that the Democratic Party "is ahead of history" because it is more inclusive of minorities and gays and lesbians than the Republican Party.

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