IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

A Biker, a Curmudgeon and a Governor: Idaho Debate Gets Wacky

Folks, this is what happens when you let ALL the candidates in the debate.
Image: C.L. 'Butch' Otter
Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter crosses the rotunda to deliver his State of the State address inside the House chambers at the state Capitol building on Jan. 6 in Boise, Idaho. Otto Kitsinger / AP file

What happens when you put a sitting governor, a biker named “Harley” and a man with a fantastic Santa Claus beard on stage together?

Answer: This astonishing hour-long Idaho GOP primary debate, which included racial jokes, a nuclear conspiracy theory, and such spicy biographical details as that time one candidate was “livin in Fat Jack’s cellar."

This is what happens when you let ALL the candidates in the debate.

“You have your choice, folks,” perennial candidate Harley Brown declared. “A cowboy, a curmudgeon, a biker, or a normal guy. Take your pick.”

The “normal guy” in question is state senator Russ Fulcher, who's mounting a legitimate primary campaign against incumbent Gov. Butch Otter. Otter reportedly insisted that Brown and the spectacularly bearded Walt Bayes join them on stage – resulting in the political circus you might imagine.

Brown, a leather-clad hog enthusiast who’s running on a “war on political correctness!” platform, certainly stood by his cause, littering his remarks with labels offensive to pretty much every marginalized group you can imagine. "I'm about as political correct as your proverbial turd in a punch bowl," he declared. "And I'm proud of it."

In his closing remarks, Brown also referenced his presidential aspirations, including this biographical detail: “I was livin in Fat Jack’s cellar, because my ex-wife had given me trumped-up restraining orders, couldn’t see my kids, it was a mess. And Fat Jack’s old lady, Fat Jack’s wife said ‘get this lunatic out of my cellar, he’s starting a presidential campaign!’”

On top of Brown’s bombast, Bayes, another perennial candidate, opined principally about concerns regarding nuclear fallout and wormwood. Or something. It’s hard to tell.

Move over the "Rent is too damn high" guy – you’ve got some pretty tough competition in these guys.

Anyway, watch for yourself – this clip gives a good taste of the high-browed rhetoric that ensued: