Most presidential candidates would not relish a public endorsement from the likes of a convicted rapist, even if the felon in question is pop culture mainstay Mike Tyson. Then again, Donald Trump isn’t exactly a conventional candidate and this election cycle is anything but typical. It is perhaps appropriate, then, that Mike Tyson has emerged as the barbell-tossing strongman in the circus-like atmosphere of the race for president.
The former boxer recently told the Huffington Post that he wholeheartedly endorses the real estate mogul-turned-politician for high office. What was not abundantly clear from their interview, however, is what person or persons would actively seek out Tyson’s opinion when it comes to selecting who should control America’s nuclear arsenal.
“He should be President of the United States … Let’s try something new. Let’s run America like a business, where no colors matter. Whoever can do the job, gets the job… I like Trump.”
Asked by HuffPost Live journalist Alex Miranda if Trump has earned his vote, Mike Tyson enthusiastically responded, “Hell, yeah. Big time.” Miranda didn’t press Tyson for details regarding the status of registration as a voter, though, which has particular bearing on the matter at hand. A resident of Las Vegas, Tyson lives in a state with some of the most restrictive conditions regarding the voting rights of convicted felons. ProCon.org notes that individuals who are convicted of a violent felony “must seek restoration of their voting abilities.”
As reported by the New York Daily News, Tyson was convicted of rape in 1992 following a 13-day jury trial. Although he initially faced a maximum penalty of 60 years in prison for the forcible sexual assault of an 18-year-old woman, Tyson ultimately served three years and a term of parole following his release. He has also been convicted of assault and drug possession.
Although Mike Tyson appears to possess a clear and unwavering opinion regarding Donald Tump’s purported electability, he had some difficulty in expressing to Alex Miranda just why Trump is the man for the job. Asked by Miranda what specifically appeals to him about Donald Trump as a potential president, Mike Tyson struggled to put some qualitative meat on the proverbial bone.
“This is just what it is,” Tyson said. “He’s the man right now with the life. Regardless of what I like about him and everything, this is what it is. He’s ahead of the polls right now and we was human beings, we’re always saying, ‘Hey, let’s treat people right, let’s take these people and these people and let’s treat them with grace and let’s do these people right. Stop killing these people. And hey, this guy is winning it fair and square. He’s not bribing anybody… And we’re all for the people. And the people want this guy. And why are the people bad? And why is he a bad guy? We’re just envious.”
It’s not just Mike Tyson’s record as a victimizer and his present struggles with substantive verbiage that cast aspersions on his chops as a political pundit. Last year, he hailed Rob Ford, the infamously admitted crack-smoking mayor of Toronto, as “the greatest mayor” in that city’s history. For his part, Ford crowed that Tyson and him were “cut from the same cloth.” If anyone objected to Ford’s sentiments, it wasn’t reported in the press.
— Rob Ford (@TorontoRobFord) September 9, 2014
Mike Tyson has at least one common bond with GOP hopeful Donald Trump, too. Tyson’s endorsement of Trump might well be the first time that one member of the WWE Hall of Fame has endorsed another member for President of the United States. Mike Tyson was inducted into the big time wrestling company’s elite ranks in 2012 for his impact on the career of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and the success of the celebrated “Attitude Era.” Donald Trump, who famously shaved Vince McMahon’s hair at WrestleMania 23, was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame the following year.
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)