Preacher Terry Jones joins GOP presidential race

Oct. 27, 2011 at 4:00 PM
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GAINESVILLE, Fla., Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Terry Jones, the fundamentalist Florida pastor who publicly set fire to a copy of the Koran, announced he is running for president of the United States.

Jones, of Gainesville, joined the Republican field, vowing to run on a conservative platform of reduced spending and regulation, but also promising mass deportation of illegal immigrants and the recall of all U.S. troops stationed overseas.

Jones told WOKV radio in Jacksonville he is running because he doesn't believe the current Republican candidates are being completely honest with voters.

In a written statement, Jones said the United States is "overspending by $4 billion a day," and failure to balance the national budget is setting the stage for an economic collapse.

Jones, 59, said the military budget needs to be pared down, and 20 million illegal residents need to be kicked out of the country to open up jobs for Americans. At the same time, taxes and regulation on business should be reduced to stimulate economic expansion, he said.

The platform made no mention of U.S. relationships with the Muslim world. Jones caused a high-profile furor last year when he announced he would burn the Koran to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

The stunt was delayed until March, but his action sparked rioting in Afghanistan that killed 12 people, including seven U.N. workers.

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