A Conversation With Republican Senate Hopeful Linda McMahon

Linda McMahon has thrown herself in the political ring as a potential Republican candidate to be a senator for Connecticut -- with $50 million of her own money, she told ABC News.

"I've said, I would, you know, I'd be willing to spend ... if it takes $50 million. Here's why: because I am a political unknown in the state," she said.

Known as the longtime and former CEO of phenomenally successful and hugely profitable World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., McMahon discusses with ABC News the ups and downs of launching a fledgling career in Washington and why she's up for the challenge.

Kate Snow: Why are you running for the U.S. Senate?

Linda McMahon: Well, I've had a really good career. And, it's been an exciting career. But, I am very concerned of where our government is taking our country at this particular point. A mounting debt, free-wheeling spending that we have in Washington, and I've just been watching it, and looking at it, and understanding that there's potential that the American dream that I was able to live will not be there for other generations, if we continue down the paths where we are. So, I'm running, just because I felt, well, I think I'd like to make a difference. I have business experience. None of the other candidates that are running bring the same kind of experience to the table. I've gone from bankruptcy at the beginning of my career, of losing my home, losing cars, not be able to get any credit, to rebuilding, and now having a company that grew from a small family business, you know, to-- to a global brand, traded now on the New York Stock Exchange, under the symbol WWE.

Snow: What would be your first piece of business, [your] first piece of legislation that you would push for?

McMahon: I would want legislation to, to really incentivize small business owners to be able to create jobs. Whether that's a tax incentive, whether it's tax cuts, some kind of tax relief, it's got to be combined with reduction in spending.

Snow: If you were there now, with the health care reform debate that's going on ... where would you stand on that? Have you been following it at all?

McMahon: I've been following it. I find it very confusing. I think, you know, we've got one bill that's been passed in the House, one bill that's been passed in the Senate. Now we've got closed door meetings going on again, for the, you know, in the conference committee, to try to merge these two bills. I could not vote for a health care plan that I believe is going to increase costs, not decrease costs. I think there's a danger that that health care bill is gonna come between patients and their doctors.

Snow: You've been a CEO, and you've owned your business, built your business, as you mentioned. You've never held public office. What are your qualifications for being senator?

McMahon: I think that we are gonna change Washington, by sending non-politicians to Washington, people with real-life business experience, who do understand how to build a business. Yes, you need to learn the government policy, and how the Senate works, and that sorta thing. But I think those are certainly things you can learn. ... What I've found, as I'm doing, like, I'm doin' today, coming out in small businesses, mingling and talking with people all around, you know, the state. What I'm really hearing is that they want outsiders. They don't want more of the same. They want someone with fresh ideas. They want new blood, new faces.

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