Schilling says he’ll run against Elizabeth Warren if wife approves

Elizabeth Warren and Curt Schilling (AP Photos)
Elizabeth Warren and Curt Schilling (AP Photos)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Red Sox star and 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling said Tuesday he’s made up his mind to run against Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren in 2018, but still needs to win approval from his wife.

“I’ve made my decision. I’m going to run,” Schilling said during an interview on WPRO-AM. “But – but – I haven’t talked to Shonda, my wife. And ultimately it’s going to come down to how her and I feel this would affect our marriage and our kids.”

Schilling made the comments during an extended interview with WPRO host John DePetro, during which he fielded call-in questions from Rhode Islanders for the first time about the collapse of his video-game company, 38 Studios, which received a $75-million taxpayer-backed loan in 2010. The firm’s bankruptcy two years later left taxpayers on the hook for roughly $90 million.

Shonda Schilling herself called into WPRO later in the day and said she still hasn’t decided whether he should run.

A U.S. Senate race between Schilling, a conservative Republican and diehard Donald Trump supporter, and Warren, a high-profile Democrat and progressive hero in her first term, would present Massachusetts voters with a vivid contrast.

Two recent surveys showed Warren with a big lead over Schilling. A WBZ/UMass poll released last month put Warren at 47% and Schilling at 28%, while a WBUR poll a few weeks earlier put Warren at 54% and Schilling at 29%.

Schilling said a major issue for him if he runs against Warren will be charter schools, which he said he strongly supports.

Schilling also said he’d be willing to debate Warren. “I’m not worried – it doesn’t scare me,” he said.

“Listen, I was a part of the team that came back to beat the Indians from being down three games to one – I’ve beaten the real ones before,” he added, an apparent reference to controversy over Warren’s claimed Native American heritage. “So I’m not worried about that.”

In addition, Schilling was asked about a comment he made on Fox Business Network last week that went viral, in which he defended Donald Trump’s controversial remark in an old video about someday dating a group of 10-year-old girls.

“I can only describe it as, I did a piss-poor job in explaining my commentary,” Schilling said, calling Trump’s comments “awkward” and “inappropriate.”

“What I was trying to say is, that’s a common occurrence in everyday America – it’s just a guy who doesn’t understand how to talk like that, talking,” Schilling said. “Him saying, ‘I’m going to date her in 10 years’ is the equivalent of someone saying, ‘Wow, she’s a beautiful long lady.’ He just doesn’t have the social skills to convey that.”

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He writes The Saturday Morning Post and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram