WWE Hall of Famer and former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura was recently interviewed by the VOC Nation Radio Network to talk about his new book, They Killed Our President: 63 Reasons to Believe There Was a Conspiracy to Assassinate JFK. Ventura talked about politics and also his ties to pro wrestling. Below are some highlights:
Ventura on what he would need 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."
On Barack Obama's presidency: "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."
Fidel Castro's take on the Kennedy assassination: "He said it was an inside job. He said that if he had anything to do with it, they would have wiped Cuba off the face of the earth and he loved his country too much to do that. He told me that Oswald couldn't make the shots that killed Kennedy. He was very close to the Soviets at the time of the assassination, and the Soviets told him that (unlike past Presidents) Kennedy was open to dialog to dropping the embargo against Cuba."
Ventura on wrestling 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 people who criticized his WWE appearances when he was Governor of Minnesota: "I gave all of the money that I made to a scholarship fund. (the media) knew it. I used the money to create the Roosevelt High School Scholarship fund, and I'm proud of that.
Ventura on why he left 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?"
His relationship with Hulk Hogan: "I haven't spoke to him or seen him at all since I left the WWE in 1990."
With 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."
Ventura on wrestling vs. broadcasting: "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?"