Actor, author, and born-again Christian Stephen Baldwin — who Sarah Palin last week referred to as her “favorite Baldwin brother” on “Saturday Night Live” — talks to TODAYshow.com about his faith and support for Republican presidential candidate John McCain. Baldwin’s latest project is a work of fiction called “The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips.”
Q: Why do you think McCain is the best choice for our next president?
A: I think that right now everybody's freakin' out, and for a good reason. The next president of the United States has to look at multiple issues simultaneously. In the prioritization of that, of course it's our economy. We need someone who is prepared and experienced enough to deal with all that's on our plate now.
Q: Is Barack Obama the wrong choice for our country?
A: No, Barack is not the wrong choice. I just don’t think he's the right choice. Barack Obama is clearly a smart guy, talented. I think that guys like Obama, like Clinton, have had their eyes on this goal for a long time … becoming president of the United States. I don't believe personally that Barack Obama cares for America as authentically as John McCain.
A: He's a politician.
Q: How is McCain more for America than Obama?
A: He served it 24 years longer. He is somebody who has demonstrated within his own party that he would rather do what's right for the people who elected him than what is right for his party. People want change. How is Barack going to do it? I think McCain can bring change.
Q: Do you support McCain-Palin because you are a Republican?
A: I'm a registered Independent. But my brother says it’s obvious that I'm a Republican sympathizer. Once I get in the voting booth it doesn’t matter. I just think in the now.
Q: The New York Daily News last week quoted you calling Barack Obama a “cultural terrorist.” Can you explain your statement?
A: If you look up the definition of the words, a terrorist is someone who incites violence. The Bible says that “God knew us and formed us in our mother's wombs.” Simply the fact that he's pro-abortion — that to me is a form of terrorism based on the dictionary definition.
Here's what's creepy about Obama: There's something else going on with this dude. That’s part of the mystery of Barack Obama. That is probably what will cause him to lose this election. As much as people love the phenomenal aspect of his message, there's a lot of unanswered issues about this dude. Creepy stuff. His birth certificate … you could call it all hokesy stuff.
John McCain doesn’t have anywhere near the amount of questions in his past as Barack Obama. Not even close. He's got Keating Five. He doesn't have things about his record and history and being that are in question. He's a war hero. He's literally one the last of a dying breed of heroes.
Q: Why did you go public with your political views?
A: My No. 1 concern is that we don’t have another 9/11. Here's what Americans don’t realize … there are 60 million jihadists on the planet who actively are trying to get together to kill Americans and destroy this nation. This is a quote from General [William G.] Boiken, who I work with. This a fact from knowledge of intelligence. This not a fear/scare tactic.
I believe that with the platform I have, I have an obligation, as someone who is very proud of this country. With the best of my ability, within reason, without stepping outside of my faith, without being slanderous or crazy or stupid I want to just be able to state what I know to be the truth.
It's not Stephen Baldwin saying “This is what I think and you should think it, too.” Forgetting all religion, John McCain should be the next president of the United States. It just makes more sense in these times for that guy to be president.
It doesn't mean Barack can't surround himself with smart people. But I don’t think Warren Buffett should be the treasurer or whatever. Warren Buffett's nuts! Just because he's a freaking billionaire doesn't mean he has common sense.
Q: Who are you trying to reach with your endorsement?
A: I'm trying to reach the common-sense people. To me, God's in control; God's going to do his thing. It’s not that there's animosity in my attitude about it. At the end of the day, [different parties] should be able to go have a soda pop [together].
Q: So politics are more of a discussion than a war?
A: It shouldn't be [a war]. But that's not to say that there isn’t — between the conservative movement and the liberal movement — a cultural war.
I don’t think it’s right that in 10 or 15 years, potentially, my son goes to a public school and reads a book about the normality of homosexuality. I don’t think that [belongs] in the public education system. In a political sense, I don’t agree with that. It doesn’t mean that I think personally that making that lifestyle choice is wrong. The Bible says it's wrong and I believe in the Bible and I stand for that. So part of the danger of living the faith I live is that they're going to shoot the messenger.
Q: Is there a danger is being outspoken about religion and conservative politics in liberal Hollywood?
A: Just call me Stevie Kamikaze. In regard to politics and faith, I just want to state my understanding on a simple pure, common-sense level.
Q: Has there been tension with your family over faith and political views?
A: Let's just say this Thanksgiving, I've hired a professional food-taster — so I don’t get poisoned.
Q: Do you go to church with your brothers?
A: No. I go to some freaky, waily churches. [At my water baptism, March 2002] Alec was like, “Oh my God, he's a Jesus freak.” But Alec is a very dedicated Roman Catholic, Billy has Christian leanings, his wife China Phillips is a huge born-again Christian.
Q: Are celebrity endorsements effective?
A: Of course. If tomorrow there was an MTV two-hour hip-hop show in support of Barack Obama, with P. Diddy, Kanye …
Q: Why would it be hip-hop?
A: Why not?
Q: Why not rock or jam bands?
A: Well, because demographically, hip-hop appeals largely or more so to African-Americans, and it’s already obvious that the African-American vote is hugely going to Barack Obama, even within the military. Which is another whole bunch of votes that people haven’t weighed into the polling system: 75 to 80 percent of all the military is voting for John McCain. That's a lot of votes.
Q: Is Gov. Sarah Palin ready to be president?
A: Absolutely. I think Sarah Palin is tougher and smarter than Obama or Joe Biden. Just because they jacked her up with freakin' what's-her-name? Who's the reporter? [Katie Couric.] That was a setup, obviously.
Q: Can Palin keep keep our country safe?
A: Yes. She has an understanding of that reality. Barack Obama and the Democratic Party just want America to think Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, that was the jihadists.
Q: What do you think the outcome of this election will be?
A: There's a very good chance that John McCain is going to win this election.