Jimmy McMillan: Barack Obama and Bill Clinton Made the Rent Too Damn High
Jimmy McMillan, of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party, has decided not only to campaign against growing housing costs, but also against New York's very own Board of Elections. McMillan, probably our fave meme-making pol with leather gloves and a handlebar mustache, is demanding a recount of the 41,000 votes for his 2010 failed gubernatorial bid. But it's not just a vanity thing, McMillan tells Runnin' Scared. He needs to prove that he got 50,000 votes so that Rent Is Too Damn High gets official political party status -- and so that he can get his name on the ballot for the presidential election.
Of course McMillan plans on running against Barack Obama in November. McMillan, who refers to himself as "Daddy," chatted with us about his platform (the rent is still too damn high, Obama ruined everything).
Runnin' Scared: So why a presidential run?
Jimmy McMillan: I noticed that no one understands how critical of a condition this country is in. No one is talking about the real reasons. You must have a backup plan is what we're trying to teach everyone. None of the elected officials in the United States have a backup plan. They're lending money and giving money to corporations.
RS: Why haven't we heard more about your campaign sooner?
McMillan: I haven't participated in the caucuses and the debates yet because the only people they involve are a governor who only has 2 million people his state -- like Mitt Romney -- and some of the other governors. I know that New York is powerful enough to override them, so we can sit back and wait.
They told me from the very first debate on CNN that I wasn't qualified. They said they had not invited those who hadn't announced their candidacy already. This is what I'm up against: I'm up against a system, a country that needs to change its ways and so does the media! I guarantee you: if I ever stand on a debate with these guys right now, I'll blow them out of the box...
RS: What's your backup plan?
McMillan: Here's what the president must do. Here's what I will do: You must hold a special session of governors of all 50 states. These are the only ones who can create the jobs in the states in the coutnry to get America back on track. We must ask these governors to give them more resources to reduce the cost of living in this state. They want to raise the minimum wage -- how do you raise the minimum wage when businesses are laying people off because they can't afford to pay their Con-Edison bills, and water bills, and taxes? We have a broken system that needs to be reformed, and it doesn't just start with Jimmy McMillan running for president.
RS: Any specs?
McMillan: I'm going to get rid of all the elected officials in the state. They're not addressing constitutional rights. Every time I watch the debates, I grab a puke bucket -- I want to throw up. This is the time to change. Their ideas are all old. I want to remove all debt from the America people. This is the 14th Amendment, equal protection of the law. You protected the banks! And cruel and unusual punishment -- you took the people's money to get the banks out of debt.
RS: You think you could oust Obama?
McMillan: President Barack Obama, I like him, but he's a young man, a young man from Illinois with approximately 11 million people. But he wasn't prepared to run this country. Everyone says that George Bush screwed it up, he did not. Bill Clinton, he did not know how to run this country either. It's like a volcano, and in 2008 it exploded with Obama.
RS: What else should we know?
McMillan: I like talking to you because it's like talking to my child. It's like you're talking to Daddy, asking him a question.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.