Jerry Springer is known for high-energy antics involving those of questionable morals.
For example, the daytime talk show that the 72-year-old hosts — which celebrates its 25th anniversary on Friday — often centers on questions of sexual infidelity and paternity (inevitably resulting in one extremely animated man thrilled at his lack of progeny while another sits in stunned silence).
Here’s a smattering of titles of clips from his show that Springer uploaded to YouTube: “I Married the Wrong Twin,” “I Cheated Because You’re Fat,” “Your Man Got Me Pregnant” and “Man Lives Life Dressed As Baby.”
(Interested readers can Google these. We’ve declined to link to them or include a clip as The Washington Post is a family outlet, and the amount of language, violence and nudity in these clips makes Russ Meyer and Quinton Tarantino seem like schoolteachers.)
What many forget is that Springer also has a political background — he was elected mayor of Cincinnati in 1979. (His attraction to scandal was also clear in those days. He became mayor after resigning his post on the City Council when a brothel raid uncovered a personal check he had written to a prostitute for her services.)
That political background, and his penchant for humor, bubbled up during Monday’s debate in a single tweet that has been retweeted roughly 155,000 times and favorited about 300,000 times.
The tweet prompted a reaction from Twitter users. One pointed out, “Springer has more elected experience than Trump.” “Favorite tweet of the night,” announced another. One user even claimed to discover his love of Springer via the tweet.
(Some angry responses were mixed in, such as one user’s hateful proclamation, “Your show belongs in Hell, and so does Hillary Satan.”)
The tweet also caused some outlets, including BuzzFeed and the Hollywood Reporter, to probe Springer’s brain on the Republican nominee for president. The Sultan of Salaciousness did not disappoint.
“He’s the only person who’s ever run who is opposed to the idea of America,” Springer told the Hollywood Reporter.
At one point, Springer claimed that Trump might have a “personality issue,” specifically citing egomania and narcissism.
“The mean-spiritedness of what he says is horrible,” Springer said. “Anyone who has a daughter should be horrified. He calls women pigs, fat — not even in the darkest humor do you say that to women.”
To Springer, the election isn’t a showdown of Republicans vs. Democrats, as he doesn’t consider Trump to be a Republican.
“I’m an immigrant — the Statue of Liberty actually meant something to my family,” Springer said. “You want to be a Republican, fine, that’s your business. I don’t agree, but I can certainly respect it. It’s an honest discussion. [Trump] is not a Republican. There is a reason why all the living candidates for president have all come out against him.”
In speaking with BuzzFeed, Springer was quick to point out that he did not actually consider Trump to be like the guests on his show. Those folks want a better life, he said, while Trump just wants power.
“The people on our show aren’t making up lies. They’re upset. They’re angry. That’s totally different than Trump,” Springer said. “He just wants to be the leader of the world. He’s not unhappy with his life. All he does is brag about how rich he is and how many hotels and golf courses he has. This is not a guy who’s trying to fix his life. He obviously doesn’t particularly care about other people.”
As of early Thursday morning, the Trump campaign has not responded to Springer’s statements.
Anyone surprised by Springer’s political passion shouldn’t be. During the 2008 campaign, as CNN noted, Springer donated $4,600 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
And earlier this year, during the Democratic National Convention, he told the New York Daily News about Trump, “If you’re really interested in getting into government, run for local office first. But if you’re coming from any other field, into politics, you don’t just start as your first job as president of the United States. That’s ridiculous.”