Jesse Ventura Talks About Leaving WWE, Hogan, Bischoff, Vince, Obama And More
Wrestling possibly hurting his credibility: "If we truly want to go back far enough, Abe Lincoln was a wrestler. I don't see where I've broken any new ground. Wrestling is a business; I was pretty good at it and I made a great living at it. Where did it ever say that you need to go to law school to serve? When I wrestled, I paid a lot of taxes."
On his exit from the WWE in 1990: "It was over a video game. Vince signed a contract with (Nintendo) and told me that I couldn't sign an endorsement deal with another company (Sega). I told Vince that he didn't own me; I wasn't working under a contract at that time."
His relationship with Vince McMahon: "It was good until Linda McMahon ran for office. I said in the media that I wouldn't endorse her because she ran on the Republican ticket, and I heard that Vince got mad at me because I said that publicly. I don't endorse any Republican or any Democrat. If I he gave me as much money as he gave her to run for her elections, I would be the President. Why would you spend your own money to get a job in public service?"
Hulk Hogan: "I haven't spoke to him or seen him at all since I left the WWE in 1990."
Eric Bischoff: "Last time I saw him was when I was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004 and I don't care for him."
Wrestling vs. Commentating: "Commentating hurt a lot less, and by the time I started to commentate, I was making as much more more than I made wrestling. The business had switched to (being based around) television. Why would I go in there and beat myself up when I can make just as much money commentating? People can say what they want about pro wrestling, but at one point in my career I actually wrestled 63 days in a row. It hurts. Wrestling is ballet with violence. Nobody looks at a great Russian ballet dancer and questions their athleticism do they?"
Barack Obama as President: "Barack Obama does not bring any change. People don't understand that change isn't going to happen by switching from Republican to Democrat. The only time you will really get change is to stay away from Democrats or Republican."
What it would take for him to run for President: "Two things would need to be met; I don't run to lose, I run to win. I would have to have ballot access in all 50 states, and I would need a guarantee that I would be allowed in the debates. If you're not allowed in the debates you have no chance of winning. You wrestling people could do that for me; just go out and get Jesse Ventura ballot access in all 50 states. All it takes is leg work to sign petitions. Every state is different; you're going for a Federal office – shouldn't it be the same in every state? That's so Independent's like me have trouble getting on the ballot. (Right now the chances of a Presidential run) are 50/50."
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