WASHINGTON, July 1, 2013 ― Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura ― author, Navy veteran, professional wrestler, visiting fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School ― has never pulled his punches on politics. The title of his book “Democrips and Rebloodlicans,” which is now out in paperback, makes that crystal clear. His views of Presidents Bush and Obama don’t fit neatly into party lines.
His next book, “They Killed Our President: 63 Reasons to Believe There Was a Conspiracy to Assassinate JFK” is set to release in October.
Kelly: Governor after witnessing Obama in office for two terms, is he better or worse than George W. Bush in your opinion?
Ventura: Kind of both. In certain aspects he’s better, but in others he may be worse. The point is nothing has changed the administration is still carrying on the same United States policy. That’s the big point. That’s what my book is about. It does not matter which of these entities you elect. You will get the same government, and the same basic government policy. It don’t matter.
See if I run, you’ll see real change. Like the chapter in the book, “Spare Change You Can Believe In.” That’s where I cover Obama. I’ll talk about real change. I would be for closing down all of our military bases throughout the world, and bring all of our young men and women home.
I follow the teachings of Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, United States Marine Corps. He won two Congressional Medals of Honor, and he wrote the highly controversial antiwar book “War is a Racket.” The only way you can stop war is to take the profit makers out of it. People like Halliburton, who make billions of dollars because we go to war. No one should profit financially from war. It’s that plain and simple.
Kelly: You are going to be appearing and speaking at an event sponsored by the group Free and Equal. Would you mind telling us a little bit about that?
Ventura: Well, I guess I am. They canceled it, saying they were getting bigger, and had to re-do it in a bigger venue. I don’t know that much about it, but they wanted me to come there and speak. I will speak because I’m outspoken, I guess ― well, I guess I’m supposed to. I also love my country, and we’ve been fed a load of bull in the last decade. That if you somehow speak out against your government then you’re unpatriotic.
The truth of the matter is you are patriotic when you speak out against your government. That’s the way our forefathers wanted it. I can guarantee you, if you go along to get along, you’ll have bad government. If you hold elected officials feet to the fire, you’ll have good government or better government at least. That’s why people need to understand, you’re not unpatriotic when you speak out against the government. You’re the opposite. You’re patriotic, you care. That’s why you’re speaking out.
Kelly: Let’s discuss electoral politics; Ralph Nader recently explained that he was going to try to persuade several billionaires to run for president in 2016. Do you believe we could see a three- or four-way race in the upcoming presidential cycle?
Ventura: No. The Democrats and Republicans won’t allow it. They won’t allow anyone in the debates. They run the Federal Debate Commission. If you can’t debate, you have no chance. They haven’t allowed anyone in for over twenty years. That was Ross Perot. Back then, the presidential debates were run by the National League of Women Voters. Well, Congress, Democrats and Republicans, took it away from the League of Women Voters, and they formed the federal Debate Commission with two of their cronies, gang members, running it.
Unless you’re allowed in the debates it’s meaningless. When I ran in Minnesota, I was allowed in the debates from the primary to the general election. At the primary I was polling ten percent. I won the election and became Governor of Minnesota because I was allowed in the debates. They’re not going to let that happen.
I’ve already made the statement that if there’s a grassroots movement that gets me ballot access in all fifty states, and if they can somehow guarantee we’ll march on Washington or something if I’m not allowed in the debates, I would give serious consideration to running for president with no political party. I would be the first candidate you could vote for since George Washington, who was the father of our country, who could president without a political party because Washington is the only one.
Kelly: There are reports that WWE wrestler Glen Jacobs, better known as Kane, may be considering running for the Senate in Tennessee. What are your thoughts on that? Also, if he does decide to run, what advice would you offer him?
Ventura: Anyone can run for office. When I ran for Governor of Minnesota the only requirement was that you had to be a state resident. I believe you had to be over thirty five years old, something like that. That’s the way our country was founded. That anyone can run for office. That you’re not required to be a lawyer, you’re not required to be anything. You’re a citizen.
We’re supposed to have a citizen government, and you bring your life experiences to bear and you go and serve. The only advice I give to anyone is my own advice to myself; I believe in telling the truth because when you tell the truth you don’t have to have a good memory. That would be my advice to any candidate. Tell the truth because then you don’t have to have a good memory.
Kelly: Well, Governor, if you become president you’re going to have to do a lot of lying. Every president has lied.
Ventura: It seems that way. Maybe that’s why I’m not qualified to be the president because-yeah you’re exactly right. It seems to me that the president is required to lie, and that the American president has to be able to look the American people in the face and lie. I can understand that you have to withhold things at times. If there’s danger or things of that nature to our country-you understand those things, but ultimately when they come to pass then you can come out and tell the truth after it happens. You don’t have to be forthcoming beforehand if it puts anything in jeopardy, but when it’s over you come out and tell the truth about the whole thing.
Kelly: Let’s talk about 2016. You’ve already stated that if you decide to run you would select Howard Stern as your running mate. Hypothetically if you won the presidency, whom might we see in a Ventura administration?
Ventura: Well, first of all let me talk about Howard for a moment. Howard is a very bright man. Not only that, but there is always a method to my madness. When I ran for Governor of Minnesota I was doing statewide talk radio. When I filed I was first to come off the air because of FCC regulations, while my two opponents, the attorney general and the St. Paul mayor got paid with tax dollars and had their jobs the entire time they ran for the governor. I in the private sector had to go five months without employment.
Well, the thing with Howard is, Howard is on Sirius Radio, they’re not governed by the FCC so we could use Howard’s radio to campaign and it wouldn’t cost us anything. How powerful would that be? I also hate the money in politics. I mean the last presidential election; both sides spent a billion dollars. It’s ridiculous. It’s all bribery money. It’s all money from special interests and corporate money to buy the politician.
You notice how it works. They passed a law that Monsanto the huge chemical giant, in our food, you can’t sue them now. They’re immune from a lawsuit. Monsanto can do anything they want to you, and put anything they want into your foods. There’s nothing you can do about it. How did they get that? Obviously they paid a lot of money buying the Republicans and Democrats to get a law like that passed.
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