'Tiger King' Star Joe Exotic Announces 2024 Presidential Run
By Dani Medina
March 15, 2023
Tiger King star Joe Exotic has announced his 2024 presidential run — and yes, he's still serving time in federal prison and wants you to know he's not kidding!
"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," a message on his campaign site reads.
Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, is currently serving a reduced sentence of 21 years in federal prison after he was found guilty in 2019 for a murder-for-hire plot, among other charges.
In the Netflix star's campaign message, he claims he was placed in prison "only. because of the corruption in the Department of Justice," and goes on to detail "evidence" and "perjury" in his defense. "The only thing I did was put five very old, crippled tigers to sleep in the most humane way possible and it was approved by my USDA Inspector, so it's time to get over it," he wrote before taking shots at Carole Baskin. As you'll recall, Exotic was put away for trying to hire two men to kill the activist. "PeTA kills thousands of animals a year. Carole (Baskin) has killed over 226 big cats and most of you eat some kind of animal everyday, so it's time to move past this issue."
As far as why the 60-year-old wants to run for president in 2024, he said he has "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." He goes on to say that he is not "ashamed" of anything he's done and will continue to "do things in the future that some of you may not like."
"So put aside that I am gay, that I am in prison for now, that I used drugs in the past, that I had more then one boyfriend at once and that Carole hates my guts. This all has not a thing to do with me being able to be your voice," Exotic continues. "The best thing you have going for supporting me is that I am used to fighting my whole life just to get by. I am broke, they have taken everything I ever worked for away, and it's time we take this country back."
Maldonado's campaign is being paid for by the Joseph Maldonado to Free America Committee and also features a Libertarian Party logo on the website.