by Javier Hasse, Benzinga Editor
May 31, 2023 12:43 PM
"'This political campaign is turning into a back-scratching joke,'" says Joseph Maldonado, better known as Joe Exotic, the onetime star of the Netflix series "Tiger King" who is serving time in federal prison.
His audacious remark sets the tone for his latest press release Wednesday about his run for the United States presidency in 2024.
Joe is critical of the current political landscape, specifically calling out Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for his promise to pardon former President Donald Trump if he's elected.
It's an example of the "joke" the system has become, he said.
"Does DeSantis think he is going to win over some Trump supporters by pledging to pardon Trump? First of all, Trump is indicted by the state of New York and the president can't do sh-- about it unless Trump gets charged with some federal crimes."
Pushed Out Of The Polls?
Joe, who's running as a Democrat, said he's being ignored by the media and the political establishment as he mounts a White House run.
"Meanwhile, I am pushed out of any polls in this election even though I have a political analyst assigned to me by the Federal Election Commission, a full campaign website and everything because they don't want someone asking them real questions," he says.
The reality TV star, no stranger to legal wrangling, criticizes the legal system, particularly the Texas attorney general.
"Look at the great attorney general of Texas. He filed so many lawsuits trying to prove everyone else was crooked and look who got his a-- handed to him on an impeachable platter," he says.
His fiery diatribe continues as he comments on his ongoing legal battles: "I can tell you they will either shut me up by taking my privileges away or they will wait for me to die in here before they ever listen to the truth or the evidence we now have against the government and their witnesses."
Joe does not shy away from making bold allegations, stating that government witnesses "continue to slander me, stalk, and harass anyone connected to me," and adding: "This country's Justice Department has gone mad."
Joe is equally candid about his health struggles.
"I've seen the doctor, or what they call a doctor in here, who the hell even knows what license some of these people have and which ones they lie about ...This could, once again, all be cancer, or it could be nothing. Who the hell knows?"
Joe said he's both a political and a legal contender. "Yes, I might be fighting some health issues, but let me tell you that I got my sh-- together more than half of the old bastards in office right now and I can assure you that, even being in prison, I am more honest than 3/4 of the politicians you vote into office every year."
In a final note of defiance, he concludes, "Ask yourselves one question: Why won't this judge rule and give me a new trial or deny it so I can get on with an appeal and get it out of his jurisdiction? The answer is because they are hoping I die in here, so this case goes away."