You might think it would be hard to scare Stephen King, but at least one presidential candidate has struck fear into the heart of the horror novelist.
In an interview with the Daily Beast, King called Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, “very scary.” He elaborated: “I actually think Trump, in the end, would be more electable than Cruz because Cruz is a fundamentalist Christian and it would almost be like electing the analog of an imam — someone whose first guiding principle would be the scripture rather than the Constitution.”
Cruz isn’t the first Republican presidential candidate to earn King’s scorn. On his Twitter page, King regularly refers to Donald Trump as “He Who Must Not Be Named,” a reference to the evil Lord Voldemort in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books. (And if you think that’s funny, there’s an app for that.)
King, of course, is the novelist who’s been topping best-seller lists since “Carrie” in 1974. He was talking to the Daily Beast about the Hulu version of “11/22/63,” his book about an English teacher (played in the series by James Franco) who goes back in time to try to stop the assassination of President Kennedy.
So clearly, while King has written his share of the unreal -- demons, ghosts and evil legacies and possessed dogs, cars, hotels and pet cemeteries -- he thinks about real-world politics, too.
In the Daily Beast interview, King said Trump leaves him speechless. “It’s like he’s bulletproof,” King said. “Will he get nominated? I would’ve said the idea is ridiculous even four months ago, but now I’m not so sure. Then people are saying that if he does get nominated he’d never get elected, and I’m saying, well, hopefully that won’t happen. But who knows.”
King, a liberal who has donated to several Democratic candidates in the past, regularly takes shots at GOP politicos on his Twitter account. He received 25,000 retweets on a post that read: “I can no longer tweet about Trump. That anyone in America would even CONSIDER voting for this rabid coyote leaves me speechless.”
The tweet prompted novelist Joyce Carol Oates to respond, “This, from the master of horror.”
King has also heavily criticized Maine Gov. Paul LePage. King demanded an apology from the Republican last year after LePage claimed that King no longer pays Maine state income taxes.
Last month, LePage made news when he said that “guys by the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty” come to Maine from Connecticut and New York to sell heroin, adding, “Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave.”
King weighed in: “One must admit LePage has elevated [being a jerk] to a level far past the extraordinary and into a rarified sphere that might be termed divine.”