Normally we see Charles Barkley breaking down all things NBA on the set of the very popular TNT “Inside The NBA,” with Kenny Smith, Ernie Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal. But perhaps he might go down the hall from the Atlanta studios of Turner Sports to the newsroom at CNN and take a seat on their set as perhaps the newest member of the political pundits team.
It seems that Barkley has plenty to say about politics and will be giving fans read more in-depth insights to politics, his new found interest with Sports Illustrated come Sunday when the magazine will publish their entire conversation with Sir Charles.
Until that time here are some of the highlights provided by the magazine:
“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 said.
Barkley previously said he was supporting Christie.
Asked about Hillary Clinton, Barkley wasn’t as effusive in his praise.
“Well, I just told you I was thinking about voting Republican,” Barkley said, laughing.
Barkley is no stranger to headlines — both during his time on the court and since he retired from the league in 2000. He recently weighed in on the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and in the past even floated the idea of running for governor in his home state of Alabama ahead of the 1998 and 2014 elections — first as a Republican, then as a Democrat.
“I was a Republican until they lost their minds,” he said in a 2006 interview.
As for 2016, Barkley said he’s “paying close attention to the political situation,” but knocked Christie over his comments on childhood vaccinations, accusing the New Jersey governor of pandering to voters.
“It is a shame that these guys are afraid of just answering the question and trying to make everyone agree with you,” Barkley said.
He continued, “[T]hey answered the question and started getting blowback and criticism and then change up. I’m like, dude, your opinion is just your f—-ing opinion. I don’t understand why you answer a question and think everyone is going to agree with you. You can’t live your life like that.”
Barkley also took on foreign policy, calling the actions of Jordan’s King Abdullah in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant “heroic.”
“I wish President [Barack] Obama was like that sometimes. I do. I think that is the way we have to treat ISIS. We can’t keep thinking it will go away,” Barkley said, using an alternate acronym for ISIL.
Don’t look for Barkley to quit his day job with TNT but one thing I always love about Chuck is that he is never boring.