joe exotic tiger king

“Tiger King” Joe Exotic announces 2024 presidential run

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joe exotic tiger king

  • Joe Exotic, who is currently serving a prison sentence, announced Wednesday he is entering the race for the White House in the 2024 election.
  • Despite his conviction, Exotic declared it is his constitutional right to run for president, even from prison.
  • Exotic took aim at the U.S. Department of Justice over his conviction.

“Tiger King” Joe Exotic announced on Wednesday that he is entering the 2024 race for the White House as a Libertarian despite currently serving a prison sentence.

Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado, shot to fame as the star of the Netflix docuseries Tiger King and made his campaign announcement on social media.

He joins a growing field of presidential hopefuls as former President Donald Trump continues to lead among likely Republican primary voters in most recent polls and President Joe Biden has yet to formally announce another campaign.

Exotic is serving a 21-year prison sentence following conviction in 2019 on multiple charges, including two counts of hiring hitmen to murder wildlife activist Carole Baskin. He was also convicted of killing tigers and selling them across state lines.

Joe Exotic The Tiger King Joe Exotic from Netflix’s “Tiger King.” Exotic announced he is entering the race for the White House. Netflix

“It’s official! I am now a candidate for President of the United States in 2024,” Exotic wrote, sharing an image showing his official campaign filing and a link to his website.

When one Twitter user asked him why he’s running when it’s unlikely he’ll win, Exotic replied: “It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about making changes.”

On his website, Exotic addressed his prison sentence, writing: “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.”

There is no legal barrier to a person running for president from prison. During the 1920 presidential election, Socialist Eugene V. Debs famously ran while imprisoned and won more than 900,000 votes but no Electoral College votes.

While he took aim at the U.S. Department of Justice over his conviction in his presidential announcement, Exotic also outlined his message to American voters.

“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,” the announcement said.

Joe Exotic The Tiger King Prison Photo Booking Photo of Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as “Joe Exotic The Tiger King” provided by the Santa Rosa County Jail in Milton, Fla., Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as “Joe Exotic.” Exotic is currently serving a 21-year sentence. Santa Rosa County Jail

Exotic’s announcement was met with surprise and some mockery on social media. This will be the second time he’s mounted a presidential bid after running unsuccessfully in 2016.

“Anyone have Joe Exotic running for President from prison on their 2023 bingo card?” tweeted DJ Mike Allan.

“We have another Joe on the ballot for President,” tweeted writer Matt Rexroad. “Joe Biden and Joe Exotic. We live in exciting times.”

Music journalist Deanna Rilling tweeted: “We’ve reached the point in this timeline where Joe Exotic would be a better president than TFG or DeSantis by a longshot…”

That was a reference to former President Trump and Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, who has not formally announced his intention to seek the 2024 GOP nomination.

Newsweek has reached out to Joe Exotic for comment via his campaign website.


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