After showing up in a campaign ad for a notorious Republican Senate candidate, Vanilla Ice reassured fans that he didn’t agree to be involved at all.
Mark McCloskey—the disgraced former lawyer who went viral after he and his wife pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters outside their home in St. Louis in June 2020—shared a promotional post featuring Vanilla Ice’s name and image on Thursday.
“Join #TeamMcCloskey in Green County for the Ozark Empire Fair,” the post read, above pictures of McCloskey and the rapper next to each other. Below the images, a line added: “Featuring Vanilla Ice and Ying Yang Twins.”
But on Thursday evening, Vanilla Ice’s management made it unequivocally clear that their client was not supporting McCloskey’s campaign. “Vanilla Ice is not taking sides on political issues and is working to support his family,” his managers told The Kansas City Star. “Please make this known.”
As well as Vanilla Ice and McCloskey not being affiliated, they’re not even appearing at the fair mentioned in the ad on the same day. McCloskey will actually appear two days after the rapper’s show.
McCloskey later clarified to local media that he didn’t have any relationship with the rapper—or the Ying Yang Twins, for that matter. “(We’re) merely saying that we’re going to be there at a time when they’re going to be there. No relationship whatsoever,” he told the Star.
Along with his wife Patricia, McCloskey became a right-wing cause célèbre after his gun-toting stunt in 2020. The couple pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges over the incident, but they were ultimately pardoned by Missouri’s Republican Governor Mike Parson. The couple also last month made an unsuccessful bid to get the Supreme Court to overturn a decision that placed their law licenses on probation.
McCloskey is now using the BLM incident in his long-shot campaign to replace retiring Senator Roy Blunt in the state’s Republican primary election in August.
Running with a slogan of “Never Back Down,” McCloskey apparently describes his actions on the day the protesters walked past his 18,000-square foot mansion in the opening of a campaign video on his website.
“When the angry mob came to destroy my house and kill my family, I took a stand against them,” he says. “Now I’m asking for the privilege to take that stand for all of us.”
The McCloskeys not only went viral for their wildly lopsided reaction to a small, peaceful march passing through their wealthy neighborhood; they also demonstrated how little they knew about gun safety. Mark, who was pictured carelessly holding the grip and handguard of his rifle, and Patricia, who had her finger on the trigger of her tiny pistol, appeared to point their guns at each other at one point.