Former 'Tiger King' Netflix star Joe Exotic mounts 2024 campaign from federal prison to take on Biden for Democratic nomination

July 5, 2023
Ben Marquis

President Joe Biden is running for re-election in 2024 but his bid is not entirely unopposed, as several other candidates have thrown their hats in the ring in bids to win the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

One of those is Joe Exotic, who gained fame as the "Tiger King" Netflix star, and has launched his campaign from the confines of federal prison, according to Breitbart.

The outlet recently interviewed Exotic -- real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage -- by phone from the FMC Fort Worth Federal Prison where he is serving a 22-year sentence following his 2018 conviction for hiring a hitman to kill a rival, Carole Baskin, and on charges of abusing the animals he kept in his private zoo.

Presidential campaign from prison

In the interview to discuss his 2024 campaign, Exotic revealed a platform of mixed populist positions that generally trend left but could also appeal to some on the right and in the center but made it clear that he was running as a Democrat to challenge President Biden.

"There’s just so many issues I don’t agree with, but I’m running as a Democrat because I think we can change some of the Democrat Party because I believe in abortion, I believe you have the right to carry a gun, and I believe that you have the freedom to have private property, so I kind of got everybody in one basket here," he said.

"And I think if I do anything in this, I might be able to break the ice to show the American people that it doesn’t matter what party you’re in, you can believe, and you can give the rights to everybody because we have 330 million people-plus in this country, there’s no way you can run a country on one party. You just can’t," Exotic continued.

He added, "I live out here with you, I don’t live in a cushy office with leather couches and leather seats and a golden spoon in my mouth. I know what it takes to make this work and that’s what the American people need to hear right now."

A populist platform

With respect to his platform, Breitbart reported that Exotic called into question the policies of U.S. interventionism in foreign conflicts and how the federal government "can squander the money" from taxpayers on foreign issues while essentially "neglecting our veterans, we’re neglecting our mental health, we’re neglecting our elderly people, we’re cutting Social Security."

He also took issue with the recent deal to increase the debt ceiling amid continued reckless spending and expressed deep skepticism toward the so-called "Green New Deal" and the left's climate change obsession that has the U.S. buying energy from foreign nations with dirty production while hamstringing this nation's own ample supplies and cleaner techniques for energy production.

Exotic further critiqued the installation of offshore wind farms that are "going to destroy our oceans, killing our whales and everything else," and also called out states like California for their poor forest management and refusal to clear undergrowth that helps fuel massive forest fires that aren't seen in other states that do better at maintaining forest land.

"It’s tough [running for office] because I don’t have access to being able to do campaign videos and I don’t access to doing rallies. But I have a voice right now," he told Breitbart. "People are literally taking me serious, which surprises the hell out of me because I figured people would make fun of me, but it’s because my platform is legit and my issues are legit. This system has to change."

Rejected by Libertarian Party

Well, not everyone is taking Exotic's 2024 presidential bid seriously, as Fox News reported in March that when he first filed the federal paperwork to launch his campaign as a Libertarian he was immediately rejected by that national party.

Libertarian Party Chair Angela McArdle dismissed Exotic as "just tigers and glitter" and said, "We stand for personal and economic freedom, we are not a landing pad for former reality stars and D-list celebrities."

Nevertheless, the imprisoned candidate insists that his campaign is serious and he hopes to eventually be able to take on either President Biden or former President Donald Trump -- who he claims would have won re-election if he had pardoned him in 2020 -- but also made it clear that he would support both Biden and Trump to be president over Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

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