NEW YORK (AP/CBSNewYork) — Robert Burck is familiar to any Times Square tourist as the man standing in the heart of the “Crossroads of the World,” playing a guitar and wearing only tighty-whiteys, boots and a cowboy hat.

PHOTOS: Naked Cowboy Announces Presidential Run

But he wore a suit and tie Wednesday as he announced his intention to run for president in 2012 as a member of the conservative tea party movement.

Burck announces his 2012 presidential bid in Times Square. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

He proclaimed he was running “in defense of individual liberty” and criticized President Barack Obama for the direction of the country.

“America is rapidly transforming into a government-run enterprise,” the tourist attraction said, adding that “American politicians are selling out America and its most cherished institution, that being capitalism.”

For the big announcement, the hat was off — perhaps symbolically tossed into the ring. Burck said he was registered as a Republican in Ohio.

Among his policy goals, he listed closing borders, requiring drug tests for welfare recipients, abolishing unions for government workers, and cutting capital gains and income taxes. He also said he would work to reverse the recently passed health care law.

Is he serious? He says yes. But this isn’t his first flirtation with public office. He announced a mayoral run in 2009 and later dropped out.

His news conference attracted a throng of media, as well as curious onlookers. When it came time for questions, he was asked about his underwear choices and whether he was being dishonest because he wasn’t actually naked when performing.

He declined to say what impact his presidential aspirations would have on his performances.

Cari Teff, 34, visiting from Monroe, Wis., had seen the Naked Cowboy in all his glory once before.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said Wednesday. “I didn’t know who it was at first.”

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (7)
  1. Chris says:

    I have a problem here when you start calling name. If he feels he can become president then talk about policies and stop the name calling.I am a swing voter so i dont care what party he suports.(Naked Cowboy.)

  2. Ronnie says:

    Actually, he looks really good with a suit on, but all that aside, why are people so hell bent on electing a politician? Why not some ordinary citizen off the street that lives a real life like most of us. Enough of the same old, same old, time for some change people!

  3. PKK says:

    You know what? I don’t think the guy is a moron. He found a way to make a living in NYC – probably a pretty good living, too. He isn’t taking unemployment and is aware of the politics on a nationwide level. There are many, many more who have absolutely NO excuse to be as ignorant and uncaring about their country as they are. So, my hat’s off to the guy!! (Nothing else is off….) 😀

  4. great says:

    you want to see some real facts..please see

  5. bruce says:

    Why not elect him? For several elections Americans had the choice to elect someone who knew how to run the country (Perot, Nader), but instead elected politicians (Bush, Obama). Electing the naked cowboy would not be any different.

    1. ALGORE_LIEBERMAn says:

      you missed Al Gore as the guy who COULD RULE COUNTRY! and after him Lieberman could become pres in 2008 not OBAMa- that hippy

  6. ttc says:

    what a surprise, this moron takes pictures with tourists all day in times square and becomes delusional enough to think he can generate votes.

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