Basketball great Charles Barkley is an unabashed fan of at least two likely GOP presidential primary hopefuls, he told Sports Illustrated.
The TNT basketball analyst noted his own political swap as the race for 2016 starts to gear up in earnest. "I have always voted Democratic. But I like some of the Republicans this time around. I like [New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie. I like [former Florida Gov.] Jeb Bush. I like those guys," Barkley told SI.
Among those Democrats who could also run, Barkley was resolute that his interests were solely with the GOP, especially when Hillary Clinton was mentioned. "Well, I just told you I was thinking about voting Republican," Barkley said.
In 2006, Barkley waxed effusive on his distaste for Democrats, telling TravelGolf.com
that he was frustrated over attacks on George W. Bush and the notion that if someone was conservative, that meant they were discriminating politically.
Barkley, who has been outspoken over the year on plenty of controversial topics, had previously noted his interest in Christie in an interview with Mike Missanneli on the sports show, 975thefanatic.com.
Barkley, noted The Washington Post,
has become the nation's race contrarian, speaking out in support of the police officer in the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting last year and making him a hero of sorts to some conservatives with his independent thinking.
They noted: "With Bill Cosby effectively sidelined these days, Barkley is the new most famous black scold."
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