Checking in with 'Red Sweater Guy' Ken Bone from the 2016 Presidential Debates
Bone said he is once again "uncommitted" to either candidate
In 2016, Bone was dubbed the "Red Sweater Guy" when he went viral after asking a question during the second presidential debate in the 2016 race between now-President Donald Trump and then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
At the time, the former Domino’s Pizza manager from Missouri said he was "uncommitted" to either candidate when he asked them about their energy policies.
Catching up with Newsweek this week, Bone said that he feels the same way this year.
"To be perfectly honest, I'd say I'm uncommitted again," he told the magazine. "Very, very few people in either of these election cycles were truly undecided. They're uncommitted, which means that you don't really have a positive opinion of either candidate."
Bone also shared his thoughts on Trump's presidency, telling Newsweek he was surprised Trump won in 2016 and that his time in office has had "a lot more misses than hits."
"What Trump is really a master at is manipulating people via the media," Bone said.
As for the first presidential debate of 2020 — which saw Trump repeatedly interrupt moderator Chris Wallace and rival Joe Biden, who responded by calling him a "clown" — Bone said it was "like watching your own house burn down."
Overall, Bone believed "Biden did a much better job" than Trump, "but he wasn't exactly John F. Kennedy up there."
"I think that we kind of got what we expected. In a way, we almost got what we deserved, because we've all played our part in raising the temperature of political discourse," he said. "It leads to a couple of people who are probably older than your grandparents, yelling at each other and telling each other to shut up and talking over each other like drunk relatives at Thanksgiving. It was insanity."
Bone added that he "didn't have a very high opinion of either of them to begin with, so it was hard to lower it."
"It's a difficult process to watch; it's like watching your own house burn down. But I feel like I owe it to people to watch," he said, speaking of the social media following he gained after brief time in the spotlight during the 2016 election. "For whatever dumb reason, some people will look to celebrities or famous people to try to get information. If people are going to listen to me, I feel like I owe it to them to at least be a little bit informed, and then also try to make it clear to them that everything I say is not gospel — it's what I think about it."
Bone first went viral at the town hall-style presidential debate on Oct. 9, 2016, largely because of the attention-grabbing bright red sweater he wore.
He told Newsweek that he ended up giving that sweater back to Izod, to live at their headquarters, when the company offered to make a donation in exchange to a St. Louis-based charity.