Even Kinky Friedman is appalled at Donald Trump.
“He can’t be a petty little baby arguing,” the Texas singer-politician said Saturday, as Trump defended deriding Fox News’ Megyn Kelly after the ratings-smash Republican presidential debate.
“He just did the one thing I was hoping he wouldn’t do. He revealed a nature like other politicians. … He couldn’t resist.”
As the Republican front-runner fended off criticism and denied crudely insulting Kelly, Friedman said Trump shouldn’t berate her but is generally right to resist overly polite “political correctness.”
“It’s him being petty — that’s too much like what we have in the White House now,” said Friedman, a standup comedian scrutinized for his own race and gender jokes during a 2006 independent campaign for governor.
“But he’s totally on target about not being PC. Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce” — late comedians known for stinging humor — “would be homeless if they were around today.”
Friedman, last seen in poltiics when he lost a 2014 Democratic primary race for agriculture commissioner, said he is now a Republican and backs either Trump or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for president.
Trump “could have come from [reality TV’s] The Apprentice all the way to being president, and still could,” said Friedman, 70, of Medina.
Mutual friend Don Imus, a New York radio host, “says Trump is really a good man, that the braggadocio thing is all just an act,” Friedman said.
“I don’t know. The guy puts his name on way too many buildings.”
Frankly, Trump 2016 sounds a lot like Friedman 2006. But with more money, and hair.
Challenging Gov. Rick Perry, Friedman finished fourth but drew more than a half-million votes. His message: Break up big politics, end the corruption, stop the big money.
“The people of America are feeling the same way we were feeling then,” he said.
“The two political parties fight like Crips and Bloods. But they’re all the same. Some Republicans are corrupt, and were before they got into office. The Democrats are just helpless. … They’re not independent thinkers.”
Both he and Trump had found political inspiration in the late-1990s Reform Party movement, when former professional wrestler and Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura led it after Dallas founder Ross Perot’s 1996 defeat. In 2000, Trump ran briefly for the party’s presidential nomination.
“They’re like ‘brothers from another mother,’” Laura Stromberg Hoke, Friedman’s former press secretary, wrote in an online message.
“Every time Trump talks, I hear Kinky,” she wrote, predicting that political correctness troubles will trip up Trump.
But Friedman groaned at Trump’s threat to run as an independent candidate.
“That would absolutely be a mistake,” Friedman said.
“There is no record of success for any third-party candidate, and I’m speaking from experience. If Trump does that, the Democrat wins, and that’s what he gets remembered for.”
More of a novelist and comedian than a musician in recent years, Friedman returns to concert touring next week in New York to promote a new CD, The Loneliest Man I Ever Met.
Trump should listen.
Bud Kennedy’s column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 817-390-7538