This morning, perennial candidate Jimmy McMillan—best known for his formidable facial hair and trademark catch phrase-cum-political party—announced his endorsement for beleaguered mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner after a chance encounter at an IHOP in Harlem.
Gawker spoke to McMillan, who is also running for Mayor of New York City, about his strange bedfellow.
Why are you endorsing Anthony Weiner in the Democratic primary?
Because I am a citizen protected by the Constitution of the United States of America. He has privileges that we cannot ignore under the Constitution that everybody else is ignoring. What he did when he took an oath with his wife—that involves his wife as an accessory matter. It is not relevant to the defense of what he does. Accessory as a necessity is what we're looking at. Now his wife took an oath that she would stand by her man, sicker, for poorer, for better for worse. We cannot question her. She can question him, but not us. Anthony Weiner, Carlos Danger—that has nothing to do with people who can't afford to eat. People are working 8 hours [a day], forty hours a week, at a job.
You mentioned breaking an oath. It doesn't trouble you that he broke an oath to the public that he would stop this kind of behavior?
No. It doesn't. If a guy said to a woman, “I would never hit you again,” but he hit her anyways, she will be mad at him. These little small necessity things happen because we are animals, and in the human life, these animal things happens.
You think a man hitting his a wife is a small necessity?
No, no, no, that's not what I said. What I'm trying to say is that promises are being made to people every day. Someone promised you, have they lived up to that promise? Someone promised me—have they lived up that promise? We are not bound to the necessities of life in conversation. That has nothing to do with his electability. That has nothing to do with the issues concerning in New York City.
Can you name one thing that Weiner did in political office that makes you want to vote for him?
[Laughter]. No, no, no. I think you misunderstand. I would not vote for him. For the Democratic primary, I want him to get up there so we can both talk about the issues and not Carlos Danger. And not Carlos Danger! He has focused on issues to help America, even though he has deceived the public. He should have never quitted, because what he did when he quit, it has nothing to do with why people elected him.
I still don't feel like you gave me one issue or cause or…
Because there is no need to. I don’t endorse him for anything he has done, I endorse him for what they are trying to do. To use him to get elected. That I will not tolerate. I want to vote to feel the issues of the people. What all of the candidates are trying to do is use him as an elevator to get him out of the race. But they have done nothing in [these] past four years.
You're saying they've done nothing, but you can’t name anything that he has done in the past…
You can't neither. No one can, because it's not relevant. That's not relevant.
I think his past political record is relevant.
No, it isn't. If the past political record is relevant, then why have all the past politicians who went from city council to state officials, then why hasn't someone come out and denounced all of them, because no one has done anything. People are being evicted every day because we are so busy talking about what someone did in the past. This is what I'm talking about.
What makes you think Anthony Weiner might be a candidate who would actually address that issue?
Because I know he will. Because it gives me an opportunity to make sure issues are addressed without focusing on the dilapidation of the Democratic city. I need to face off with someone where we can focus on the issues today. This will be a good fight, a good battle, this is what I'm counting on.
As a former private investigator, were you ever tasked to look into spouses who cheated by sexting?
No, I looked into political issues. I focused on Mario Cuomo, I focused on Ed Koch, Giuliani, the things that they weren't doing that they could have done, all of the situations which we are in today. They contributed to this failure of the city, as well as the state.
What's the juiciest thing you found out as a private investigator?
Housing. Housing. Judges represent a landlord, sit before the judiciary. I didn't know it was going to get this bad. But when it became bad, I began to research to see why we’re destabilizing apartments to give one-year leases with no options to renew their leases in two years. And all the elected officials know this! But they are running for office saying they want to help the people and rent is a critical issue. Not being able to buy food, not being able to pay your rent. You could spend all day giving your money to a landlord. It's a critical issue. So I ran for governor of the state of New York, without exposing why I was running, and I simplified it by saying rent is too damn high.
Who hired you to look to Ed Koch and other elected officials?
The American citizenship did. I did it on my own. I served in Vietnam for two and half years and returned with three Bronze Stars and my brother veterans were returning and not getting any help at all. They said we love you and we will protect you. [But] they're paying the highest rent of $3600 a month for a one bedroom. You don't need to be hired to do anything to help your country. I took an oath in 1966 to serve my country. I'm still on my oath, I'm serving my country as an American citizen.
I meant who hired you as private investigator to look into…
You did not hear what I said.
I did hear you, that's not how private investigators usually work.
When you see something going wrong, you should step up.
As a private investigator did you ever find anyone who has a better alter-ego name than Carlos Danger?
That is not what I focus on, I focus on things that would help the people. Ed Koch and Giuliani roll out the red carpet for them, roll out the mat for al Qaeda. And no one has focused on that. There has been an article that I uncovered them as leaders of New York. They all laughed at me like I was a crazy man. A Vietnam vet that came out of a helicopter a thousand feet in the air to get soldiers on the ground, I wasn't crazy to do that. But I was crazy to fight for a cause where where everyone looked at me like I'm a psychopath. Is al Qaeda still here? They're landlords. They're renting apartments to us, under LLCs to hide their identities. I'm running for mayor for a reason, because I know al Qaeda is still here. The question of it is: why haven't they been found?
Can you name one building that al Qaeda owns or one corporate entity that is run by al Qaeda that is buying real estate in New York?
Like I said, LLCs. Check the LLCs and the attack of the World Trade Center and you won’t think that I'm crazy.
Why do you keep running for office even though you have never managed to win an elected office?
That is a good question for me to answer, if you want. You have to make sure “if you see something, say something.” If you see something, don't say nothing. If you're an American citizen under the constitution this is your country, you must try to get it right.
How do you feel about the rent these days?
The judge may have an eviction notice on me tomorrow. Because the judge and the attorney who was involved in the Stuyvesant Town case, they're the same company [as the] people who are involved in my eviction. And once they got me in court, they thought they could work their magic, making sure that they refuse my lease, that they refuse to accept my rent.
Where do you live?
On 107 St. Marks Place.
And how do you afford your rent?
I'm a disabled veteran. I pay my rent.
I saw you on St. Marks St. about a month ago and you told me I had a Kool-Aid smile. What does that mean?
A Kool-Aid smile is that you’re happy. A Kool-Aid smile is you are not being affected by anything. You are the jolliest person I've seen that day! That's what a Kool Aid smile means. If you look at the Kool-Aid bottle, he's always smiling. You got a Kool-Aid smile. That's so cute. It means you have something about you that everybody is paying attention to. And when you look at people and smile everybody is going to smile too. It don't mean that you drank Kool-Aid, it mean that you got that Kool-Aid smile.
Gotcha. So I saw that picture of you and Anthony Weiner. Did you request a meeting with him, did he reach out to you? How did that come about?
We met at a restaurant called IHOP. We both had dinner accidentally and I told him he should have never quit. Don't run away, don't back away. Focus on the issues of the people.
Where was the IHOP?
IHOP, 135th St. in Harlem.
You gave a radio interview recently where you said people should feel free to be as freaky as they want to be.
I'm going to get honest when I tell you about Carlos Danger because I think that that's magnificent. It's a porn joke. It's funny. It's hysterical. It's a Kool-Aid smile again, you see what I'm saying. This is what Carlos Danger has done, people are stopping in their tracks laughing in the middle of the street.
OK, thank you very much for this interview.
OK, Kool-Aid smile. Don't ever give it up.
This interview has been edited and condensed because Jimmy McMillan talks too damn much.
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[Image via Twitter]