The 2016 election cycle has resembled a WWE wrestling event more than a presidential campaign at times. Due to this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if a former Hall of Fame wrestler enters the race.
With millions of Americans tired of the two-party system, Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have thrown American politics upside down. While Sanders is in a heated battle against Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side, Trump appears to be the inevitable Republican nominee. During an interview with The Daily Beast on Feb. 29, former Minnesota governor and proud independent, Jesse Ventura, announced he would run for president if Sanders isn’t the Democratic nominee.
“They’re setting the groundwork for me because if Bernie loses, by the time we get to June, how sick are the people going to be of all these people,” Ventura told The Daily Beast. Trump said he’s happy Trump is in the race because he has the GOP in “complete disarray,” stating, “it looks like the WWE when you watch their debates.”
“Jesse Ventura is a bright, shining new face who comes riding in on a white stallion to save the country.”
Ventura has been critical of Trump, despite being friends over the years, especially on foreign policy and immigration. The former governor of Minnesota has advocated for open borders and stating out of the Middle East, policies that are the complete opposite of Trump’s platform. “I support the revolution of what’s happening here,” Ventura said of Sanders, who has previously spoken highly and endorsed the Vermont senator.
“There’s three things where I stand with Bernie on more so than Trump. Number one is campaign is finance reform. Two is ‘the war,’ and three is ending the War on Drugs.”
As an outsider, Ventura has become more liberal over the years, shifting away from his more libertarian-politics of his earlier years. “See, I’m an independent and I despise the two parties,” he continued. Ventura became the governor of Minnesota in 1998 as an independent with the Reform Party, defeating the Republican and Democratic challengers.
(UPDATE: Chief Political Reporter for KSTP-TV Tom Hauser reports that Ventura met with Sanders after the event and offered his endorsement. The meeting was described as “nice,” but Sanders declined the endorsement and according to Ventura, the Vermont senator “kind of blew me off.” Ventura says he will not offer any endorsements in 2016, but is still mulling his own possible campaign for president.”