Meet Fred Karger: He’s the first official entrant in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. He’s also openly gay, a proud feminist, pro-same sex marriage, pro-abortion-rights, and a critic of Sarah Palin who thinks many Republicans are hypocrites.
“There is no place for hatred and bigotry in this country,” Karger said Wednesday in a statement. “I want to be a participant and help shape the debate in the Republican Party and our nation.”
Karger, a California businessman and the first openly gay presidential candidate for a major political party, is a long-shot at best who will have a terrifically hard time winning over more than a tiny fraction of the Republican base. He doesn’t anticipate being invited to the debates, but says he’ll fight to be heard.
And it won’t help that he tore into the GOP last July during in an interview with Feministing at the liberal Netroots Nation conference, when he was reportedly considering a presidential run.
“The hypocrisy of the Republican party is pretty prevalent these days,” he said. “They preach small government but they want to tell women what to do with their bodies. I’m a fiscal conservative, I come from a finance background. I definitely want to work to strengthen our economy, I believe in the private sector. I’m a libertarian of sorts.”
Asked about Sarah Palin’s claim to feminism, he responded: “Maybe Sarah Palin doesn’t quite know what a feminist is… I think she has things to bring to the table and certainly issues to discuss but as far as a feminist I think her definition and mine are about 180 degrees apart.”
Watch Karger’s video interview with Feministing below.