Those are fighting words. Saturday Night Live's resident Donald Trump impersonator, Alec Baldwin, said he could beat Trump if he were to run in the 2020 presidential election. While a guest on Sirius XM's The Howard Stern Show on Monday, Baldwin said, "If I ran for president, I would win, hands down."
Stern initially suggested the idea during a discussion about potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. "I got a name for you," he said. "Alec Baldwin." From his quick, emphatic response, it was clear Baldwin has considered the idea of running for office before. In 2017, he told a crowd at George Washington University, where he once studied political science, "Would I think I'd be a good president? Yeah, I think I'd be a good president."
He went on, "To run for office is something that I want to do," but that it "doesn't seem to be practical with my lifestyle and my children."
Baldwin won an Emmy last September for his recurring satirical portrayal of the president on SNL. He regularly appears in blotchy orange makeup and a wispy blonde wig on the late night show, parodying the week's news and lampooning Trump himself.
Offstage too, Baldwin is an outspoken critic of the president. “I could go out on the street, stand on any corner and tap 10 people on the shoulder. And all 10 of them, in all likelihood, would be more qualified — ethically, morally, intellectually and spiritually — than Trump. I’ll vote for Mitt Romney. I don’t care. Anybody over this guy. It doesn’t matter. We have to get rid of him," he said, in a March interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
After Trump publicly criticized Baldwin's SNL performance, tweeting, "it was agony for those who were forced to watch," Baldwin shot back, "Agony though it may be, I’d like to hang in there for the impeachment hearings, the resignation speech, the farewell helicopter ride to Mara-A-Lago [sic]. You know. The Good Stuff. That we’ve all been waiting for."
“It’s odd because it just shatters all the decorum we have of that job,” Baldwin later said of Trump's Twitter tirades. Trump, it should be noted, has not replied to Baldwin's claims that Baldwin would beat him in an election.
While it's unclear how seriously Baldwin is taking his presidential musings, he did express his thoughts on the current political landscape. "I’d like to think that this thing with Trump is a one-off," he told Stern on Monday. "I want the Democrats to have a smart opposition to keep them on their toes." He added that people don't have a strong sense of who the next Democratic presidential candidate will be.
"Somebody great is going to come up, I hope," he said.
Baldwin has said in the past that he thinks the country won't accept another "nontraditional candidate" after Trump. "The pendulum may swing the other way, and people are going to want people with real, bonafide credentials," he told his George Washington University audience.
The 30 Rock alum and Match Game host is hardly what most would consider a "traditional" presidential candidate. "It would be the funniest, most exciting, craziest campaign," he told Stern.
Baldwin also acknowledged that his presidential inclinations — while vehement — arise from a desire to make "common sense" changes in the country. He explained to Stern his criticisms of the presidential elections, saying they have become too influenced by money.
"We buy the presidency now... it’s all jingoism and all this marketing," he said. "I’d love to run for that kind of position to just have things be very common sense," he said. "There are so many things that this country needs to do that are so obvious."