Tom DeLay on 'Dancing With the Stars': 'Conservatives Can Have Fun Too'

Former majority leader says he's "in it to win it" on "Dancing With the Stars."

August 18, 2009, 12:06 AM

Aug. 18, 2009— -- Tom DeLay says he's got dancing in his blood and "jumped at the chance" to join the cast of "Dancing with the Stars."

"I love dancing … you've got to love dancing if you're from Texas," DeLay told Chris Cuomo on "Good Morning America." "Conservatives can have fun too. Conservatives can let their hair down… and put on some dancing shoes."

Fans of "Dancing With the Stars" were surprised to learn on Monday that the former House Majority Leader would join the season nine cast.

"The Hammer," a nickname given for his ability to hammer legislation through Congress, will join fellow cast members Donny Osmond , Kathy Ireland, Macy Gray and others on the "Dancing With the Stars" season premiere on September 21, 2009.

"This is going to be so fun and so crazy," said DeLay, later adding, "I'm in it to win it."'

Following Monday's announcement DeLay, 62, tweeted: "Didn't realize, I was the oldest #DWTS contestant by 11 years. Have to go after that #AARP vote."

DeLay has already changed his Web site to "Dancing with DeLay" where you can "follow his moves" by registering on his Web site to "two-step with tom (sic)."

Emily Miller, a former DeLay aide, wrote on Politics Daily that DeLay's daughter, a professional dancer, said he has been working out in preparation for the show and has already lost 12 pounds.

"I'm ready to go," DeLay said. "I can't wait to get to work."

But, he said, he isn't sure about the costumes.

"I don't know about sequins," he said. "Sequins and pink."

CLICK HERE for the complete "Dancing With the Stars" cast list.

DeLay Loves 'Dancing With the Stars'

"Tommy was as shocked as anyone when they called to ask him to be on the show. We watched every single show last season and are huge fans," DeLay's wife, Christine, told Politics Daily, adding that DeLay can already dance the two-step, polka, waltz, country swing and disco.

The former congressman, who grew up in Venezuela, told ABC's Houston affiliate, KTRK, that he has been dancing all his life.

"I was the lead dancer in all the 'folklorico' dances," DeLay said.

DeLay previously acknowledged his love for "Dancing With the Stars" when he sent out an e-mail asking people to vote for country singer Sara Evans, a previous contestant on the third season and a supporter of the Republican party. Evans, said DeLay, "represents good American values in the media."

"We have always been able to count on Sara for her support of the things we all believe in. Let's show Sara that same support by watching and voting for her each week to help her win this competition," DeLay wrote in the e-mail.

Evans dropped off the show after filing for divorce.

After being elected to 10 consecutive terms in the House of Representatives, DeLay left Congress in 2006 after a Texas Grand Jury indicted him on money laundering charges related to corporate campaign contributions.

DeLay's case has been slowed down by procedural delays and has never gone to trial.

"It would be interesting to see if Mr. DeLay can do the Perp Walk, does he know that step," Andrew Wheat, research director of Texans for Public Justice, told ABC News' Brian Ross.

"My political opponents have had their day," DeLay said on "GMA," addressing the indictment. "They don't want to go to trial because they know they abused the grand jury system."

"I'm moving on," he added. "I'm not going to let modern-day politics hold me back."

DeLay Dancing His Way to a New Image?

DeLay's appearance on "Dancing With the Stars" gives the former congressman an opportunity to remake his image.

"You're reaching an audience that otherwise is going to tune out politicians," Stuart Roy, a former DeLay spokesman, told ABC's Rick Klein . "What people don't see -- but political people will -- is that the promotion of the show goes far beyond putting out a press release."

And DeLay said he planned to use his skills honed in Washington to his advantage.

"Some people said I was the best whip that ever served," he said. "I'd be a fool not to use that skill in this. I'm going to go after the American people, show them that I can dance."

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events