GOP Debate, Or 'The Jerry Springer Show'? Even Jerry Springer Doesn't Know The Difference Anymore

The Republican Party presidential race keeps getting weirder and weirder as the months and weeks roll along. After Tuesday night, it's down to just three candidates. But with all those debates, and all the chaos and tumult, and now all the myriad ways the race could still go off the rails ― contested convention, anyone? ― it's started to feel like a particularly bizarre episode of TV. And one guy is qualified to judge: Jerry Springer weighed in on the Republican primary race on Tuesday, and it sounds like he's looking for a royalty check.

You probably know Springer's name, even if you've never watched his show. In fairness, it's not exactly for everyone — a sleaze-drenched affair that's been running for 25 years and has produced nearly 3,900 episodes. If there's one thing the show, its host, and its producers have always understood well, it's the power and allure of conflict packaged as entertainment. Which makes it pretty obvious where Springer's mind went whenever he tuned into, well, any of Donald Trump's insult-laden debate diatribes.

Springer, as it happens, is no stranger to politics. In fact, he was a Democratic politician long before he turned his attention to syndicated television. He was twice elected to serve on the Cincinnati city council (first in 1971, then in a comeback bid in 1975 after a sex scandal forced his resignation), and served as Mayor of Cincinnati from 1977 to 1978.

Springer's political ambitions sometimes went even further than that, as he mulled over a run for the U.S. Senate in 2004, eventually deciding against it. His hesitation makes sense ― his show had already been on the air for 13 years by that time, and it's never exactly been the kind of programming you'd typically associate with a political aspirant.

Maybe that's part of why the tenor of the Republican race has been so startling to Springer — or at the very least makes him feel like he's missing out on something. If you can get this far on unapologetic bluster, sensationalism, and name recognition alone, who knows how far from higher office he really was? In any case, you can bet that the Republican National Committee won't be cutting him a check anytime soon. After all, even beyond the criticism, Springer is a Hillary Clinton supporter.