MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — He shocked the world once when he was elected governor of Minnesota in 1998.
And, on Wednesday, Gov. Jesse Ventura said he just might be ready to do it again.
In a sit down interview with WCCO-TV, Ventura said he is seriously considering running for president.
“If I decided to run, I would go seek the Libertarian nomination,” he said.
Ventura says he has been asked to run by some top Libertarians, a fact confirmed by a top party official. Currently, Ventura is in the midst of promoting the newly updated version of his “American Conspiracies” book.
But it is presidential politics that are on his mind. He wants to clarify all that talk of him wanting to be Donald Trump’s running mate.
“I didn’t ask to be his running mate,” Ventura said. “But I will tell you this: I have known Donald for going on 25 years now, I consider him a friend, and out of respect, if he were to ask me, I would give it due consideration.”
Ventura says he has not been contacted by Trump. The presidential bid he wants to talk about is his own.
“I am considering it right now,” he said.
It’s not too late, he added, because the Libertarian convention is in early June, and that’s when the party selects its candidate.
In a uniquely Ventura approach, he says he won’t actually join the Libertarian Party.
“For the first time since George Washington, let’s elect someone who does not belong to a political party, a true independent, and, secondly, I will pull us completely out of the Middle East,” he said.
Ventura says he will decide whether to run in March of 2016.
“Why get in now?” he said. “Wait for the pikers to be gone, wait until there is two left. Then you get the press, you will be the focus, then Jesse will steal the election in the last four months.”
Ventura says he is convinced that outsiders Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump won’t get their parties nominations and that their supporters will back him.
Asked if he believes he could win the presidency running as a Libertarian, Ventura said: “Yes, if I am allowed to debate.”
This scenario of being able to capture the Libertarian Party’s nomination at their convention next May is actually possible under Libertarian party rules, according to Carla Howell, the party’s political director.
Ventura has a number of book signing appearances this weekend and next. Locations and times can be found here.