Former Happy Days star Scott Baio officially announced his support for Republican candidate Donald Trump on Saturday during an interview on Justice with Judge Jeanine Pirro. Baio, who is a lifelong conservative, and has endorsed every Republican nominee since the Reagan era; but the volatile nature of the current Presidential campaign caused Scott to draw a lot of criticism from social media with people going for the jugular, taunting Baio’s lack of current acting opportunities and criticizing his intellect.
Scott Baio just reduced his chances of working. Oh…wait…never mind.
— Rotty (@FatRotty) March 20, 2016
Charles in Charge hasn’t been on in 26 years I don’t care about what Scott Baio thinks.
— Amanni Epps (@BlaqGoldRoze) March 20, 2016
Scott Baio is trending. No, he didn’t die. He just endorsed Trump, which means he’s just brain dead…
— Daniel VanDurmen (@TheAgeOfAnalog) March 20, 2016
Scott’s wife, Renee Baio, had tweeted her support of Donald Trump a couple of weeks ago, but at the time indicated that Scott was waiting to announce his support of a specific candidate. As Trump continues to blast through the primaries, it became clear that Scott would more than likely also be vouching for The Donald.
“I’m fed up. I’m done with them (the current politicians in Washington). I’m done with the Republicans. They’ve lied and conned and bs’ed me for a very long time and I don’t even consider myself a Republican anymore.”
Baio’s revelation was stunning considering his longstanding relationship with the Republican party. Scott went on to say that he felt many others in Hollywood held a similar belief system that Baio described as “conservative independent,” but that many people in the business are quick to label conservatives as Republicans, and they do not want to be associated with that particular party.
Scott Baio’s support of Donald Trump also drew criticism because of Trump’s previous taunts of both women and people with disabilities. Scott and his wife Renee Baio are the parents to a young daughter and run a foundation for people with disabilities and by supporting Trump, many felt both Scott and Renee Baios were belittling both. The trending of Baio on social media led some to speculate the actor had passed away while simultaneously bringing up an old news story in which a joke Tweet by Scott of Michelle Obama in 2010 sparked death threats against the former Charles in Charge star.
According to the Huffington Post, in 2010, Baio tweeted an unflattering picture of the First Lady with the comment “Wow. He wakes up to this every morning.” While many accused Baio of racism because of the tweet, others encouraged Scott to kill himself.
Though celebrity endorsements, such as the one given by Scott Baio, for Presidential nominees may not have an effect on the outcome of votes, according to The Wrap, the real impact comes in the form of campaign cash. While a multitude of celebrities have been split on their Democratic endorsements between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, the majority of those who are Republican have joined Scott Baio in supporting Donald Trump — the one candidate who doesn’t really need the financial support.
One fact remains, however, that is as true for Scott Baio as it is for any one else. Every American has the right to choose the candidate they feel that represents their own belief system. If Joanie Loves Chachi and Chachi loves Trump, well that’s Scott Baio’s prerogative.
[Scott Baio cover image via Kevin Winter/Getty Images.]