Geraldo Rivera says no to Senate run, cites 'Lord of the Rings'
June 7th, 2013
08:47 AM ET
10 years ago

Geraldo Rivera says no to Senate run, cites 'Lord of the Rings'

(CNN) - Remember how Fox News host Geraldo Rivera said he was considering a U.S. Senate bid in New Jersey?

Well, he's not anymore.

In a Fox News Latino column that starts with a scene from the "Lord of the Rings," the longtime journalist said he realized a Republican running for the seat in a heavily-Democratic state and in an election with popular Newark Mayor Cory Booker as a potential rival, the race and money would "be as one-sided as Théoden faced when leading his riders against Mordor."

Théoden, King of Rohan, dies in the famous novel while facing an outsized army. "But because of his sacrifice the good guys ultimately win," Rivera wrote.

Following Sen. Frank Lautenberg's death on Monday, Republican Gov. Chris Christie announced a special election will be held in October to fill the remainder of the late Democrat's term through next year.

In his column, Rivera said the pushed-up timeline also forced his hand. After reaching out to former candidates, friends and colleagues this week–"frantically testing everything from my ideological viability to prospective budgets"–Rivera concluded he was no longer juiced to make a run.

"Ultimately, I concluded that whatever else it is, New Jersey politics is not a fantasy novel," he wrote. "For one thing, the energetic and engaging Mayor Booker is not the Dark Lord. And while I may be willing to die for the right cause, I'm not willing to bankrupt myself in a vain quest that is more Don Quixote than Lord of the Rings."

He also said his wife and two daughters "argued strenuously against a campaign odyssey that would exhaust our finances and expose us to the ravages of unlimited Super PAC money and tabloid scrutiny."

"For their sakes and mine, I have decided reluctantly not to run," he added.

He also discussed his decision on "Fox and Friends" Friday morning.

Rivera announced in February that he was considering a bid for Lautenberg's seat in 2014, saying at the time that New Jersey needed a "modern Republican" like himself in Washington.

Voters in the state seemed to disagree, with polling suggesting that Rivera would trail Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker, who appears close to announcing a Democratic Senate bid, by a more than two to one margin in a hypothetical general election matchup.

New Jersey voters have not sent a Republican to the U.S. Senate in more than 40 years.

- CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: New Jersey • Senate
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    "the race and money would "be as one-sided as Théoden faced when leading his riders against Mordor."

    Perhaps stupid Lord of the Rings references also contributed to the fact that no one was interested. Sheesh.

    June 7, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I've said and will maintain that Geraldo Rivera was the prequel, if you will, to sensationalist tv.
    Before there was Survivor, before any of the Housewives, and well before Fear Factor there was Geraldo bombing out with Al Capote's Vault.
    He's been coming up empty ever since.

    June 7, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Al Capone I meant to write. Pardon.

    June 7, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Would someone please call a doctor and help this man. Like so many on the right, his mind is trapped in a fantasy world.

    June 7, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  5. Marie MD

    I am sure it has nothing t do with his highly unqualified persona. These people are really and truly full of themselves.

    June 7, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  6. Richard in Houston

    Another Fox flunky that is thinking of, has run or is part of the republican party. Fox, Fair and Balanced. How do they say that without laughing?

    June 7, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  7. pcappit

    Republican?!? LMAO. This is why Republicans lose, because they are Democrats in policy and ideology and Republican In Name Only.

    June 7, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    Malory Archer

    Oh my – somebody grab the fainting couch!

    Hey, Malory you had me LOL with this comment of your's. I hope you don't mind that I reposted it to this article. I thought it was a good fit.

    @CNN. I really wish you folks would lay of the FOX coverage. It's bad enough that you force one TeaPer article after another at us. But, FOX, too? If I want FOX bs, I would be AT Fox ... not CNN.

    June 7, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  9. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    I remember when "Jerry Rivers" was just another reporter at WABC in New York. Unfortunately for the rest of us, he broke one big story, then went out of his way to be the news instead of reporting on it. The Al Capone vault was his final act of elevating himself to a punch line.

    June 7, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  10. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Oh, and Momma, Morton Downey, Jr. was better entertainment.

    June 7, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Wasn't another Fox employee named Sarah Palin doing this two years ago? Folks, he cannnot run for office and be a Fox employee at the same time. He can't quit today and run tomorrow, either. Remember, both Gingrich and Santorum quit Fox and allowed at at least 90 days to pass before they announced a candidacy.

    June 7, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  12. Bill, NY

    He decided against it due to the fact that he is less popular than terminal flatulence.

    June 7, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  13. Tony

    Grampa grumpy need to stay with fox.

    June 7, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  14. Susan

    I love the people who are blasting Geraldo because of his lack of experience, while in the same breath embracing someone who created a effeminate character named Stuart Smalley. There's a long history of entertainers becoming politicians on both sides of the aisle, so put a sock in it.

    June 7, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  15. Ken in MO

    Didnt Fox News say that Geraldo was a traitor when he was on a differnt network...remember? He gave away our troops location and activities on the air?

    June 7, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  16. Sniffit

    This is extremely disappointing to comedians everywhere.

    June 7, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  17. Just a thought

    What is it with CNN and their Faux Lite marketing strategy? Intelligent people have no interest in that mess Faux and fools are selling

    June 7, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  18. JonfromLI

    I think the public needs more of Geraldo Rivera's award-winning journalism.

    June 7, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  19. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    To be a successful politician, you have to be willing to withstand scrutiny and you have to find ways to appeal to the people whether you have a lot of money or not. If you have integrity and a sound character, respect and appeal to the voters and can empathize with them and is willing to fight for their concerns and interests, you'd be victorious, scrutiny or not, money or not. I like Geraldo because I believe he has character and is a good person. I think he'd make a good President too.

    June 7, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Knock it off with the inane spin, Rudy. What happened to the 300,000 jobs the retired people left? Are they gone forever? Vaporized?
    Outsourced. Inane spin? I used your own logic. Most of those were probably public sector jobs, anyway. Isn't that what the right wing wants? Sheesh, you cut hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs and they still complain.

    June 7, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  21. Tea Party Thomas

    Not a real fan of this clown. I served with the 101st airborne. Ask Rivera about how he gave aid to the enemy.

    June 7, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Joe from CT, not Liberman
    The Puerto Rican Jerry Rivers!
    We didn't always laugh at Geraldo. Being a Latina growing up in NYC we were kinda proud to have someone from our "neck of the woods" representing us on one of the major networks....and then came that Capone vault fiasco. I remember almost smelling his desperation through the screen of my Zenith tv when he found nothing after so much build up. he cringed. I cringed. We ALL cringed. Embarrassing.
    I'd completely forgotten about Morton Downey Jr. though Joe!

    June 7, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |