A Florida pastor notorious for burning the Koran intends to seek the nation’s highest office in 2016.
“I believe most all politicians are politicians,” Terry Jones said Monday during an interview with ABC’s local affiliate in Bradenton, Fla.
“They’re not telling the American people the truth,” he added. “I’m running for president. Vote for me.”
Jones plans on running for president as an independent, Christian Today reported Wednesday.
Jones first sparked international outrage in 2010 by threatening to incinerate Islam’s holy scripture in a protest on the ninth anniversary of 9/11.
The controversial pastor added that his success in 2016 would require “some type of major miracle.” Despite this, Jones said he wants to be seen as a legitimate candidate for voters.
Jones previously sought the Oval Office in a failed 2012 bid. He said Monday he would run on a platform of protecting America’s security from radical Islam and reducing the deficit.
The incendiary pastor planned “International Burn a Koran Day” on Sept. 9, 2010, but called off the event after immense pressure from world leaders.
President Obama called it a dangerous “stunt” in remarks on the day the event was scheduled and warned that it would spark a violent reaction.
“As a very practical matter, as commander in chief … this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women who are in uniform,” Obama said.
Jones’s threatened bonfire also drew condemnation overseas. Then-NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Sept. 7, 2010 said it would have a “negative impact” on coalition forces in Afghanistan.
“I think it’s a disrespectful action and in general I really urge people to respect other people’s faith and behave respectfully,” Rasmussen said.
“I think such actions are in a strong contradiction of all the values we stand for and fight for,” he added.
Jones followed through on his threats in 2011, burning a copy of the Koran at his church.