Political commentator Schmidt joins Showtime's 'The Circus'

Posted: Updated:

AP Media Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - Political commentator Steve Schmidt says he'll take some inspiration from former NFL players who become television analysts when he starts appearing on Showtime's "The Circus."

The political show is returning Sunday for a series of episodes focused on the midterm elections. Schmidt, a former political strategist who helped run John McCain's 2008 campaign for president and worked on GOP congressional campaigns, will join regular hosts John Heilemann, Alex Wagner and Mark McKinnon the next week.

He appreciates former NFL players who turn broadcasters because they're straightforward in a way that many partisan commentators aren't.

"Troy Aikman is not going to sit there and tell you the Cowboys are having a great day when they're losing 42-6," he said.

He hopes to use his expertise for honest assessments of why campaigns are being run like they are and whether Republicans can survive what is expected to be a rough election night.

Schmidt has worked as an MSNBC commentator and been sharply critical of President Donald Trump, even recently changing his voter registration from Republican to independent. But he said he makes it a point not to criticize Trump voters.

"Everyone wants to be seen, everyone wants to be heard," he said. "And you've got big parts of the country that doesn't think it has been seen or heard from for a very long time, through multiple administrations, Republican and Democratic. One thing 'The Circus' does well is to show people and allow them to be heard."

Schmidt doesn't know if he'll be on the show beyond the upcoming run of episodes, which conclude Nov. 4. He also doesn't know which campaign he'll be covering first.

"They're very dynamic, very nimble," he said. "I'll wake up in Los Angeles on the 17th and be directed from there. You have no idea where the show is going to take you."

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."