Will Jerry Springer run for Ohio governor?

Jerry Springer (WBNS-10TV)
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If a candidate for governor came along who served on city council, was mayor of Cincinnati, has a law degree and spent the last 30 years helping solve problems for people – you might say, "bring him on."

Well, that happens to be the resume of TV talk show host Jerry Springer.

In an interview you’ll only see on 10TV, Jerry Springer lets loose on President Trump, what he thinks Gov. Kasich should do next and why he's thinking about running for governor of Ohio.

Jerry Springer is part historian.

“First of all, understand that America is an idea. We’re the only nation in the history of the world to be created by an idea. We started out as an idea as it’s articulated in the declaration of independence with Jefferson where this would be the one place on earth that didn’t matter where your parents came from, whether you prayed to god, none of that mattered."

He’s part rubble rouser.

“I don’t believe this nonsense that we’re a center-right country. We’re not. We’re center left. But we like to say we’re conservative.”

And he’s 100% political animal.

“My whole life I’ve been interested in political issues and you know I breathe it. So it’s very much in my DNA and I used to be in political office and all that.”

Ohio is still in his DNA too.

He cut his teeth in Cincinnati politics in the 70’s on city council and as mayor. To this day, he flies back to every week to host a podcast.

“We do this at a coffee shop and we talk politics, comedy and music. I do a political rant and this is a folk music coffee shop.”

What’s his political rant about?

“Every once in a while I do a rant about, oh what’s his name? Oh, Trump, that’s his name.”

Springer gets serious when he dips back to America as an ‘idea’ and President Trump.

"We are by definition a multicultural society. And for the first time, we’ve had republicans and democrats as presidents, we’ve had all kinds of presidents but we’ve never had one who’s against the idea of America. Who believes that certain nations, certain religions aren’t welcome here. That is so un-American you have to ask yourself, why do we send our sons and daughters off to war to die for this country if we don’t even believe in it."

"And he’s too dangerous. I’m not saying he’s a horrible human being, I’m saying he shouldn’t be president. And if you talk to Republicans quietly and not with the camera on, they all admit it.”

One Republican who nearly admits in public is Governor Kasich. Springer believes Kasich is one politician who could prevent a second term for President Trump.

“Kasich is someone of substance and people respect. And you could see him – it’s not my politics but you could see him as president. To this day, you still can’t see Trump as president. It’s too dangerous."

“I think John Kasich should challenge him in a Republican primary.”

No shocker here, Springer likes to challenge too.

Challenges to political norms about our country, for example. For people who say they’re in the ‘political middle’.

“That’s nonsense. 80 to 90 percent of Americans who vote regularly 80 to 90% of the time vote for the same party.”

“America is mostly liberal. I’ll say it again. America is mostly liberal.”

I had to follow up on that notion seeing as how America has long been described as a center-right country. Springer again arched back to his interpretation of American history.

“In the beginning conservatives fought against social security. In the beginning, conservatives fought Medicare. In the beginning, they fought against equal rights and the civil rights movement. And now, we’ve had our first African American president. And in the beginning, they fought against women’s rights and now we’re getting closer to gender equality. Gay rights!”

“See, I believe liberals always win. In the beginning, whatever the issue is, the liberals are called crazy, the protesters, oh what are they doing? And then a few years later, that cause becomes mainstream America."

“Liberals always win. In the end. Every generation is more liberal than the one before it. they don’t want to admit it.”

If he became governor, the issue he’d tackle first: health care.

“It really is the most important things in our lives. So anything relating to health, that’s issue #1. Because that’s national defense too. What’s national defense? You wanna protect yourself from attack. I’m saying bad health attacks you more than anything a terrorist ever did. But all of us are going to leave this earth one day because of an accident or disease. And if we know that in the end, it’s health that’s going to end us, end our lives, bad health, then why in the world wouldn’t the first thing we ever spend a penny on is to make everyone has a defense against bad health?”

Springer is passionate about health care for every American.

“If the most important thing is to get a doctor for your sick kid then let’s figure out a way to do it. Don’t wait for the government. Just do it.”

He says American values of helping people suddenly disappear though when ‘help’ takes on the form of health care.

“So if you’ve got someone who needs help, a good decent person helps. And most people do react like that but once we get in the voting booth, we forget everything our mother taught us about how to behave. It’s nuts. How can we casually say, ‘well 20 million people don’t have health insurance but how about those Buckeyes!’ Good Lord! That’s the single most important thing we do. The health of our families.”

Jerry Springer thinks about these things as an advocate a lot. Now he’s thinking about them as a possible candidate.

Will he run for governor?

“If I were younger, the answer would be yes in a heartbeat and that’s the God’s truth.”

But at 73—he looks at life differently.

“I look at the picture of my grandson and am I willing to really give this all up?”

On other days, he seriously thinks about jumping in the race.

“It’s more of a question of would I be good?...My wife, we’ve been married 44 years and her answer always is, legitimately, ‘honey you gotta’ do what you gotta’ do’. So she will say yes god love her.”

If he ran, I asked him to finish the sentence: I’m running for governor because…

“Because I believe that we have to think outside the box for how we’re going to get you things that make your life better.”

The Jerry Springer Show has made his life better financially for sure.

A 25 year run on TV that’s made him millions. On Twitter, he describes himself as ‘ringmaster of civilizations end.’ If he runs, he’s braced for what would likely be withering criticism of his show.

“When people say, ‘oh that show.’ I get it. I wouldn't watch my show. If your pipes are leaking in your house and you call for a plumber, you don’t care what that plumber’s taste in television is. You want to know if he or she can fix the pipes.”

Like President Trump appealed to America’s working class, Springer says his show allowed him to truly hear from them.

“I can’t think of anyone else in America who’s spent more time around non-famous people in their life than I have. Every single day of my life, I’m around people from all walks of life and people you wouldn’t socialize with maybe. Just regular people driving a truck, picking up the garbage or maybe a doctor or whatever. Just regular people who aren’t famous. And I don’t know many people in politics who really represent that.”

Springer knows his celebrity status is one reason political operatives are calling and urging him to run.

Those same politicos also say things about the Democrats already running.

Scott: They’ll say we’ve got good candidates, solid people and public servants.
Jerry: They do.
Scott: But they say, we have a problem with name recognition and fundraising. You’d remedy both of those challenges.
Jerry: Well that’s why they’re calling me. If I were an insurance salesman they wouldn't be calling me.

‘Take care of yourself and each other.’

Going back to his news anchor days, that was his sign off in Cincinnati.

Could that be a Jerry Springer 2018 campaign slogan?

“I have this wonderful life and when we say ‘take care of yourself and each other.’ Under any moral ethic, the way you say thank you is to give something back if I did this, it would be because I really thought I could help and if you don’t think I could help, no hard feelings. You don’t have to say nasty things just ‘nah, I don’t like his ideas.’ And then we could be best friends.”

So Jerry Springer doesn't know yet if he’s in or out of the governor’s race. He knows the deadline though. He has to declare by February.