Former Independent Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura was interviewed on Coast to Coast AM by host George Noory for two hours this past Wednesday.
In comments transcribed below, Governor Ventura repeated his endorsement of Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson. He also discussed the ballot access and presidential debate challenges faced by Third Party candidates generally, his offer to run with Ron Paul should Dr. Paul drop out of the Republican Primaries, and the possibility of his own run for President in 2016.
The full interview is available for downloading (fee required) at:
Coast to Coast AM excerpts, 25 July 2012, interview with Governor Jesse Ventura
01:20 – NOORY: “Tell me you’re going to come back into politics.”
VENTURA: “. . . It’s so difficult as an Independent and there’s really only one office that I would try to seek if I did come back, and that would be the Presidency. As a Third Party candidate it’s so difficult because you have to get ballot access in 50 different states. . . . It would also be worthless unless I was guaranteed that I could be in the debates. . . . The Democrats and the Republicans aren’t about to let a third entity into the game. . . . These two gangs . . . are very much like pro(fessional) wrestling. In front of the public they’re adversaries . . . while behind the scenes . . . they’re business partners. . . . When I ran for Governor, all I heard from the mainstream media was:
“If you vote for Jesse you’re wasting your vote because he can’t win.”
“Minnesota proved that wrong. . . . I like to reverse that, George, and tell people this:”
“If you vote for a Democrat or a Republican you are wasting your vote because it does not matter who wins.”
. . .
04:45 – NOORY: “I thought for a moment we were going to either see Ron Paul and Jesse Ventura or Jesse Ventura and Ron Paul in a Third Party.”
VENTURA: “I made myself available to Dr. Paul if he would leave the Republican Party . . . I would have joined him had that happened because he carries power. He has power on the Internet; he has power with young people; he’s certainly going to carry some power at the Republican Convention. He won Minnesota hands down . . . Minnesota is loaded with Ron Paul Republicans and what I’m trying to urge all of them to do now is . . . switch over to Governor Gary Johnson like I am. He’s the Libertarian candidate, the former Governor of New Mexico who is a brilliant, honest man.”
NOORY: “Yes he is. There’s no doubt about that. Yet people like that, Jesse, get virtually no publicity.
VENTURA: “ . . . If they would allow Governor Johnson to debate with these other two, you could see him win.”
. . .
25:03 – NOORY: Any predictions on the November Presidential Election?
VENTURA: “No. Again, it doesn’t matter who wins; you’re going to get the same policies and the same government whether Obama wins or Romney wins. I’ll just state this; Obama is kind of the enemy we know and always remember what the late great Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead said, “If you’re made to pick the lesser of two evils it means you’re still picking evil.”
“I urge people to vote for Gary Johnson, of course, the Libertarian candidate. All the Ron Paul people need to remember back in 1988 Dr. Paul was a Libertarian. So they should switch their allegiance to Gary Johnson now.”
. . .
38:55 – VENTURA: “I love my country but I hate my government because my government is nothing but Democrats and Republicans.”
19:00 – NOORY: “Will he (Ron Paul) come back in four years?
VENTURA: “No, I don’t think so. I think age limitation. Dr. Paul is already in his 70s. . . . Heck, the window for me is closing. If I were to decide to do it I’d probably have to decide no later than 2016 — four years from now because that window closes on you the older you get.”
NOORY: “Would you do it as a Libertarian if you decided to run then?”
VENTURA: “If I decided to run, it could be Libertarian. . . . It would take a grassroots movement of people out there in every state getting me on the ballot. If they could, between now and four years from now, get me on every ballot in all 50 states, then I would give it that consideration. I would close all our military bases . . . I would end the empire . . . I would work for campaign finance reform to kill this system of bribery . . . I would go to a national sales tax . . . you wouldn’t have to have it on food or clothing . . . I would cut defense 10 percent to spend (on private space exploration).”
The full interview is available for downloading (fee required) at: http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2012/07/25
For full disclosure, I have been a guest on Coast to Coast AM. I also cast what I believe was the only vote for Jesse Ventura for President at the 2008 Libertarian Presidential Nominating Convention in Denver.
Coast to Coast AM airs on more than 560 stations in the U.S., as well as Canada, Mexico and Guam, and is heard by nearly three million weekly listeners.