U.S. Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks at a campaign event on the USS Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina February 16, 2016. Credit: JOSHUA ROBERTS | REUTERS

Bestselling horror writer and arguably Maine’s most famous resident Stephen King has never shied away from talking politics. The liberal novelist famously clashed with conservative Gov. Paul LePage last year over a speech draft in which the governor suggested King dodged Maine income taxes, among other ideological disagreements between the two.

Now, King’s politics are grabbing headlines again, as the author weighed in on the top Republican presidential candidates in a recent interview with Newsweek’s The Daily Beast.

King is back in the spotlight after the launch of a critically acclaimed Hulu miniseries based on his book “11.22.63.”

In the aforementioned interview, the author said anti-establishment billionaire candidate Donald Trump has “left me speechless” because of the “outrageous” things he says on the campaign trail. But the writer said he finds Trump’s top rival for the GOP nomination, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas, even scarier.

“I actually think Trump, in the end, would be more electable than Cruz because Cruz is a fundamentalist Christian and it would almost be like electing the analog of an Imam — someone whose first guiding principle would be the scripture rather than the Constitution,” King told The Daily Beast, in part. “But I don’t think he could get elected. And, even if he was able to govern without blowing up the world, could we look at a guy who resembles a cable game show host for four years? He has that awful plastered-down hair and everything.”

As the Los Angeles Times noted, King has referred to Trump on Twitter as “He Who Must Not Be Named,” likening the outspoken candidate to the evil Lord Voldemort of the “Harry Potter” wizard school books, so for the author to put Cruz on a level below that is saying something.

King’s comments come less than five months after Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson famously said he didn’t think Americans should elect a Muslim president.

Coincidentally, conservative Iowa congressman Steve King — no obvious relation — was named co-chairman of Cruz’ presidential campaign last month.

Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.