Ventura 2012?

By Julia Hoppock

Sep 2, 2008 6:26pm

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf reports from Minneapolis: In a stem-winding speech to supporters of Ron Paul’s failed presidential bid, former Minnesota governor and professional wrestler Jesse Ventura said he is considering his own run four years from now.

"I wrote the book "Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me," Ventura said, wearing a blue blazer, yellow t-shirt, jeans, and shoulder-length band of hair around his bald dome. "Well, I’m here," he declared to supporters jumping up and down in the Target Center in Minneapolis.

"Believe me, with people like myself, Dr. Paul, and the rest of us, let’s get the revolution going," he said, adding, "If I see it start to rise up, well, then maybe in 2012."

Ventura recently ruled out an independent run for the Senate in Minnesota this year, and he cut off the cheering Paul supporters to say, "Chanting and yelling is not going to do it. I need to see action. But if I see it in 2012, we’ll give them a race they’ll never forget."

Paul and Ventura are not a perfect fit. Paul built his campaign trying to inject a dose of libertarianism into the existing Republican party. But Ventura could tap into the same frustration with politics and Washington around which Paul’s popularity bloomed.

But while Paul is adamant that his change should happen within the Republican party, Ventura opened his speech today by saying he is not Republican or Democrat.

"I say that very proudly today because I think these two parties are destroying our country," Ventura said, before launching into a sermon on the national debt.

"We are now over 9 trillion in debt. And who is responsible for this 9 trillion debt? The Democrats and the Republicans are responsible. What solution are they offering? None. Nothing. You don’t hear one word in these debates about the debate. Why? Because they were equally responsible and it is indefensible."

And, the 2012 run notwithstanding, don’t look for Ventura to join a party anytime soon. His ideas are split too much between the party bases.

Ventura, who lives half the year as a surf bum in Mexico, said putting walls on the border of Mexico is unfair to "those brown people we fear," and "turning my country into [the] Berlin Wall."

But later, he added that, "while I’m no gun toting fool," the founding fathers intended the Second Amendment, not for hunting and fishing, but so that "we the public, if our government gets out of control, we have the ability to rise up and change it."

Ventura also said something similar to Paul earlier in the day, but attributing the quote to "the late, great Jerry Garcia," Ventura said, "Jerry said if you’re made to pick the lesser of two evils, you’re still picking evil."

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