With all of the attention from the 2016 presidential campaign shining on Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush and other high-profile politicians, it is easy to overlook another candidate who wants to become the next president: Michael Kinlaw, a real estate professional who began in house-flipping before creating and running the Houston-based company Manhattan Mortgage from 2002 until its closure in 2008. Kinlaw is now running for president – seriously! – and we spoke with him about his campaign.
Q: For the benefit of those who are not familiar with you – who are you? And why are you running for president?
Michael Kinlaw: The second question is easier to answer than the first one. I am running for president for one simple reason. I am tired of watching millionaire politicians run our country the way they seem fit without regards to the working class of America. There are so many things that I’m sick and tired of hearing, so I decided to give it a shot and run myself. I’m not even concerned right now about Democrat candidates and the media trying to push me down and away. I’m smart enough to know that the Republican Party is going to be the one trying to get rid of me, not the Democratic Party.
For your other question, I am just a normal guy. Just an American citizen that believes our country will never truly change until “We the People” make a significant change at the voting box. It’s hard for me to understand how people claim to want change and then vote for someone that has been in politics for 20 years. I am a previous small business owner myself and I know what it takes to generate jobs and get the economy back on track.
Q: The election has a lot of notable names lined up as candidates – Clinton and Warren are mentioned endlessly on one side, while the other side has Bush, Christie, Paul, Rubio, Cruz, Carson, to name a few. How are you standing out from this crowd?
Michael Kinlaw: Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat nominee, but I believe she is the worst candidate the Democrats could put up. Elizabeth Warren is not running, but she is a much better candidate than Hillary.
Jeb Bush will be a viable candidate simply based on his name and the money he can raise. However, he will begin to fall apart when the other more conservative candidates start to criticize and critique him during debates and campaign speeches. He cannot reverse course on some issues that. Rand Paul – I actually really like many things that Rand has to say. I agree with him on some issues. The problem I see with Rand is that right after he says something you can agree with, he says something that is so far out there, that you are just stunned.
Marco Rubio is a good candidate, but I just don’t think he will be able to get past the immigration bill he created. Red State hard conservatives won’t let him get past it. Ted Cruz is the senator from my home state of Texas. I like him very much as a senator and I want him to stay in the Senate and continue to push hard for the people of Texas. He will never win a general election because he is too far right. Ben Carson gave an interview will Glenn Beck where he said that he only supports the Second Amendment depending on your address. Most of America hasn’t seen this interview, but they will and he will be doomed.
Basically with all the candidates that are running, I stand out for one big reason. I’m not a politician. I’ve never been in politics and I’m also not a multi-millionaire. I’m a hard working, middle class man that truly cares about the middle class and the poor class. It’s not just lip service with me, it’s a reality.
One difference between me and the others is that I support legalizing medical marijuana on the federal level. Medical marijuana is considered in most states to be medicine and I don’t think that traveling across state lines with medicine should be grounds for arrest. I also want marijuana in general to be decriminalized to the point that if someone is found in possession of two ounces or less, they aren’t arrested and taken to jail. Instead they should be given a warning or a ticket with small fine. Locking up teens and young adults for small amounts of marijuana is killing the chances for them to be successful in their future. It is also a major reason the black communities across America are suffering.
The biggest difference is that I support gay rights and gay marriage. The Republican Party and its candidates are always the first people to stand up and declare that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican and that they support the 13th amendment by eliminating slavery. They are the first people to say the Republican Party supported the Voting Rights act of 1965. They are the first people to say they supported women’s rights and their right to vote. They declare these things every single election. They always say they want the government to become smaller, they want the government to get out of businesses and they want the government out of people’s personal lives. I agree. They don’t think the government should be involved in our households, in our cars, in our investments, in our paychecks, in our healthcare, in our dinner menu, in our cell phones, in our internet data and more.
They keep saying that government is too big and must be downsized and get out of our personal lives. But then one minute, later they say that they want the government to regulate gay rights. So they want the government out of next to in the privacy of your own home. To keep this short and to the point I don’t think they government should be in the business of marriage.
Marriage is a religious symbol made between two people that wish to declare their love for each other in front of their friends, family and their god. We do have the separation of Church and State.
Q: Many of our readers are small business owners and entrepreneurs. What policy positions would you offer to this voting bloc?
Michael Kinlaw: For most of my life I was a small business owner and entrepreneur. I know how hard it is to start a business from nothing and not have a silver spoon in your mouth. The entire section of my campaign involving the economy and jobs will default to the small business community. I believe that small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. Every small business owner dreams of growing their business larger and our economic policies should benefit and assist that dream.
The simplest way I can put it is that I would have much rather the SBA open up their regulations and loan out $50,000 to thousands of entrepreneurs instead of lending Solyndra LLC $500,000,000 just so they could go bankrupt. Our government keeps this policy of loaning money to large corporations and banking institutions instead of making that money available to real people that want to open real businesses and hire real workers. I would immediately open up the SBA regulations.
I would open up all banking regulations for loaning to small businesses through the Federal Reserve. I would be the most pro active small business owner President in history. I know that almost all good jobs are created by small business, and no one seems to understand that.
Q: How have people responded to your presidential goals?
Michael Kinlaw: So far the general public has been extremely supportive. I have received thousands of letters, emails and notes of support. I have received no negative attention, except for the fact that the RNC won’t even sit down and give me a meeting. The RNC has told me that I am on my own and they won’t support anyone not in the political arena. So basically the RNC and DNC don’t care about regular people, just millionaire career politicians.
Michael Kinlaw’s campaign is online at http://kinlawforpresident.com/. An earlier version of this interview appeared on Business-Superstar.com.