Some say our last president wanted to be king. Now an infamous king wants to be president.
Joseph Maldonado-Passage, star of the Netflix series “Tiger King,” has announced his candidacy for president from his campaign headquarters — a medical ward for federal prisoners in Fort Worth, Texas.
Using a familiar “drain the swamp” theme on his new campaign website, Maldonado-Passage promised to go after corruption in the FBI and the U.S. Dept. of Justice, blaming that corruption for his multiple convictions and 21-year prison sentence. (He’s currently being treated for prostate cancer.)
The Netflix series, first released in March 2020, focused on Maldonado-Passage and his exotic big cat park in Oklahoma and his rivalry with big cat activist Carole Baskin. He was convicted of paying a hit man to murder Baskin.
Other felony charges included violations of the Endangered Species Act and other wildlife laws, notably selling tiger cubs and killing adult tigers to make room for cubs, which customers would pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to pose with for pictures.
Maldonado-Passage said he was railroaded in federal court, and will seek the nomination as the Libertarian Party candidate, so he can work for American citizens.
“I am here because I have a world platform to make these politicians listen to your and my concerns and give us some answers for once because all they do is lie to all of us, take our hard earned money calling it taxes, and give it away to foreign countries without them giving us anything back,” Maldonado-Passage wrote in a campaign statement posted on his website.
— Joe Exotic (@joe_exotic) March 15, 2023
Maldonado-Passage, who dubbed himself “Joe Exotic,” said he is challenging President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump to a debate, starting with reform of the prison system and Justice Dept. No word yet on Biden or Trump accepting his challenge.
Maldonado-Passage insists on his website that he is dead serious about his bid.
“Yes, I know I am in Federal Prison and you might think this is a joke but it’s not. It is my Constitutional right to do this even from here. I have been put here only because of the corruption in the Department of Justice,” he wrote in his announcement.