Tuesday, Sept 3, 2008
Ron Paul supporters may have found a new champion.
In boisterous remarks at today’s Rally for the Republic, former Minnesota governor and professional wrestling personality Jesse Ventura suggested that he is open to a presidential run in 2012 if enthusiasm for “The Revolution” stays strong.
“If I see it over the next two to three years,” thundered Ventura at the conclusion of a speech to several thousand Ron Paul supporters in the Target Center in Minneapolis. “If I see it start to rise up and if this country shows me that it’s worth it for me, then maybe in 2012… .”
The crowd — which has raucously booed allusions to this year’s presidential candidates and cheered Paul’s hands-off ideals at the all-day rally today — burst into deafening applause at Ventura’s suggestion.
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“I will be watching,” Ventura shouted over the ruckus. “If I see it, in 2012, we’ll give them a race they’ll never forget.”
Ventura’s prediction came at the end of remarks in which he questioned the U.S. government’s involvement in a 9/11 plot, lambasted the Patriot Act, and advocated for gun rights so that “if our government gets out of control, we have the ability to rise up and change it.” (He also prophesied success if such a citizen uprising against the U.S. government were to occur, saying “We threw everything we had at Vietnam, and they withstood it all.”)
Ventura, a third party candidate who unexpectedly catapulted to victory in the 1998 gubernatorial election, hopes to be a political figure in the mold of Rep. Ron Paul, whose grassroots movement garnered surprising support during the primary season.
The former Minnesota governor toyed with a run for U.S. Senate this year but chose not to at the eleventh hour; before his remarks today, he told reporters backstage that he made that decision by coin toss.
“I wrote the book “Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me,” Ventura told fans today, shortly before declaring his possible run in four years.
“Well, I’m here.”
Barr in attendance
For what it’s worth, per Steve Sinton, communications director for Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr, Barr was in the crowd this morning at the Ron Paul’s Rally for the Republic. He has left the building and will not be speaking.
That — says another spokesman for Barr — is at the request of the Paul campaign, who didn’t want “any presidential candidates” on the podium today.
Paul’s not endorsing Barr but this morning lauded the Libertarian candidate’s ideals and called him a “good spokesman.”