President Trump touted former pitcher Curt Schilling on Tuesday after he announced he was “absolutely considering” running for Congress as a Republican in Arizona.
“Curt Schilling, a great pitcher and patriot, is considering a run for Congress in Arizona. Terrific!” Trump tweeted.
The president’s Twitter encouragement comes just hours after The Arizona Republic published a report saying Schilling was mulling a run.
When asked point-blank if he was launching a campaign for Congress, Schilling told the paper he was “not ready to do any of that right now.”
“If/When things solidify I will but right now it’s something in the ‘I’m considering it’ stage,” Schilling wrote in an email to the paper. “The state is not the state I grew up in. Making Arizona citizens of EVERY race, religion and sexual orientation 2nd class citizens to illegal immigrants is about as anti-American as it gets.”
He added: “When you have homeless veterans, children, and you’re spending tax dollars on people smuggling drugs and children across our border someone in charge needs their a** kicked.”
Schilling considers himself a Massachusetts resident but has said he is considering moving back to his home state for a potential congressional campaign. He also hinted that he would be running for one of the congressional seats currently held by a Democrat.
Over the weekend, Schilling also hinted at a congressional run on a radio show in Arizona.
“I haven’t said anything publicly, but I’m considering going back to Arizona and running for a congressional seat, one of the blue ones,” he said on Armed American Radio’s Mark Walters’ show, according to the Republic. “It’s something that my wife and I have talked about, and she’s now becoming more and more pumped at the potential. Obviously, we’re still quite a few discussions away, but yeah, it’s something we’re absolutely considering.”
Schilling, a three-time World Series champion, has been a supporter of Trump throughout his term and has been politically involved since 2004, when he campaigned for former President George W. Bush while a Boston Red Sox pitcher.
Schilling, 52, also played for the Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Since retiring after the 2007 season, Schilling has been at the front of several controversies—including his high-profile firing from his job as an ESPN baseball analyst for a Facebook post about transgender people, and his suspension in 2015 for comparing Muslims to Nazis.
Schilling's political plans have been rumored since 2009—when he suggested he was considering a run for the Senate seat formerly held by the late Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy.