WWE Hall of Famer Jesse "The Body" Ventura returnrf to Club WWI for his third interview with James Guttman. Ventura discussed how Vince McMahon Jr. would fair in politics, why President Obama hasn't closed Gitmo, his own experience with IRS audits, death threats for joining WWF in the 1980s, getting wrestlers over on commentary and more. Here are some highlights from the interview, the full audio is available at ClubWWI.com.
If Linda McMahon's tie-in with wrestling hurt her chances for a U.S. Senate seat: "I don't know, but I'll tell you this. If Vince would have given me that kind of money, I'd be the President. How's that for a quote?
"When I ran for governor, I only raised $300,000. And that's a statewide race, like the senate. I only raised $300,000. I made more money doing the job. The job of governor paid $120,000 a year. So I made $480,000 for the four years and I only spent $300,000 to get the job. If I would have had that money, I'd be the President. You give me that much money to spend on an election and I'll be President. (laughs) I think that answers your question in a very humorous, funny Jesse 'The Body' Ventura type of way."
Which wrestling promoter would have made the best politician: "Without a doubt, the best and smoothest would be Vince McMahon Sr., not Junior. Vince McMahon Sr. was the coolest, smoothest operator out of all the promoters I ever met - out of anybody in that whole business. You could be madder than a hornet and you'd go in and meet with him, you'd walk out feeling great but accomplish nothing. You'd feel good about yourself. Yet, he didn't give you a thing. I won't go into any specifics more than that. I think that describes Vince McMahon Sr. and I think it describes him in a very positive way. That's how good he was."
If he would run for President: "This country loves firsts. John F. Kennedy was the first catholic president. Barack Obama was the first African-American president. Personally, I'm waiting for the first former AWA World Tag Team Champion president. Now it could be Doug Somers, could be Marty Jannetty. But, I'd like it to be you. Governor Jesse Ventura, will that day come in my lifetime?
"If there's a grassroots movement to get me ballot access in all 50 states and if they can somehow guarantee - either they protest their brains out to make sure - I'm included in debates. Because you have to be able to debate, I would give it serious consideration. But I'm not going to spend money to get ballot access. It would have to be grassroots effort by people in every state. I need to know that. Because the thing I find most despicable about public service is the obscene money and the sellout and bribery. Jesse Ventura will not sell out to the bribery of special interests. I never took a dime of special interest money when I was governor and I never once, in four years as governor, met with a lobbyist. And I will keep that integrity. So that will require the American people to have to jump through a lot of hoops to get me to do it. Plus, it would mean I would have to leave Mexico and it will require that amount of work from you all to ever even get me to entertain the thought."