Ben from Denver sent over some great quotes from Charles Barkley's nascent political career. The originals are from the Hartford Courant. It's not available for free anymore (the abstract is here), but here are some excerpts (that are also reproduced here):
"My platform is very simple: I'm going to improve public school systems and make neighborhoods safe. Politicians do a great job of making you argue about things that aren't important. They want you to argue about the war in Iraq, about gay marriage and immigration. I'm against the war, but I support the troops. If gay people want to get married, that's none of my business. Immigrants are great people, working their behinds off."
"But really, America is divided by economics. It's the rich against the poor. And the gap is widening . We've got to find a way to uplift poor people. It shouldn't be the haves vs. the have-nots. My No. 1 agenda is trying to band together the poor people, especially the black people. We have to take better care of our neighborhoods, we have to stop killing each other, we have to stop having babies we can't afford and we have to strengthen education. That's what we have to do."
UPDATE: Well, ain't that lucky. The Associated Press just ran some quotes from another Barkley interview, with Chris Meyers of FOX SportsNet, which will run on Sunday.
"Religious people in general are so discriminatory against other people, and that really disturbs me. My idea of religion is we all love and respect. We all sin, but we still have common decency and respect for other people. So right now I'm struggling with my idea of what religion is."
"I think if they want to get married, God bless them. Gay marriage is probably 1 percent of the population, so it's not like it's going to be an epidemic. Hey, trust me, I'm never going to kiss you and say, 'Chris, you're sexy."'
"I don't know anything about a lot of things, but I would ask somebody and try to make a fair, honest decision for the majority of the people. Not the rich, not the poor, not the black, not the white. When you get elected to public office, you're supposed to represent everybody. Your job is not to take care of the rich or the poor or the black or the white. Your job is to take care of everybody."