July 9th, 2008
02:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Ventura says he'll reveal Senate decision next week

Ventura said Wednesday he would reveal his campaign plans early next week.

Ventura said Wednesday he would reveal his campaign plans early next week.

(CNN) - Former Minnesota Governor Jesse “The Body” Ventura – who has been hinting broadly for months of a possible U.S. Senate run – denied a report Wednesday that he had announced his intention to enter the race, telling the Associated Press he had been speaking hypothetically, and will reveal his plans Tuesday.

A Ventura campaign would set up a three-way brawl featuring the former professional wrestler, Democrat and former Saturday Night Live star Al Franken and incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman, who Ventura defeated in Minnesota’s 1998 gubernatorial race.

In an NPR interview airing Wednesday, Ventura denied charges he would only be campaigning to promote his latest book, which was released earlier this year. The former governor, born Jim Janos, told NPR Coleman’s support for the war in Iraq was a driving factor in his motivation to enter the race. "That's the reason I run, not to sell books," he said. "I run because it angers me...

“And all you Minnesotans take a good hard look at all three of us. And you decide: if you were in a dark alley which one of the three of us would you want with you?” But he told the Associated Press Wednesday he had not yet made a decision.

Ventura served a single, tumultuous term as governor, and did not make a second run for the office. He has not yet made any formal moves to enter this year’s Senate race in advance of Tuesday’s filing deadline.

Filed under: Jesse Ventura
soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. James Hussein, SC

    Hey where are you big-time McCain supporters? Gov. Ventura is a vet. and former SEAL who has killed for his country. Not by dropping bombs on people randomly (like McCain). He killed people up-close and personal. So, when he says war is the worst of mankind he knows.

    Gov. Ventura is the only Governor of modern time who has made more money from the job (his pay), than it took him to get the job. He chose not to run again. He is very realistic about America and Americans. Yet, this is the first guy the citizens are ready to hang because he tells the truth.

    July 9, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. tom

    Coleman defeated Mondale in 2002, after the tragic death of Paul Wellstone. If Coleman defetaed Ventura in 1998 it was not for the senate seat.

    July 9, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. Justin from West Haven, CT

    He should be a presidential candidate.

    July 9, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. jimmy velman


    July 9, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. Debby

    Al Franken is a joke LOL Ventura at least has some experience.

    July 9, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. Will in Richmond, VA

    wow... Franken and Ventura on the same ballot.

    How fascinating. Personally, I like Venturas ideas a great deal. He can be a bit abrasive at times. Should be intriguing to say the least.

    July 9, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. MIchael Lorton, Virginia

    The world is an unstable place. Who knows......Minnesota is crazy enough to elect him. Let' see, we have a comedian, a wrestler and the other guy (of which I don't know). Put my money on the wrestler.

    July 9, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. Abbey

    Just what the senate needs-another do-nothing windbag out for his own gain. What, pray-tell are his qualifications and why do so many nutjobs come from Minnesota?

    July 9, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. usa

    not this year jesse.we cant afford the the grid-lock that you will create,at this time.maybe later.i'm independent,too.we need to unify this government to get serious issues taken care of.obama and the political situation just may be able to pull it off ,this time,and with your prior obama bashing statements on larry king,it tells me you are more interested in condemning both parties,while not taking a stand on any issues.you were great at bashing people in the ring,but,we dont need that,right now.we need solutions.

    July 9, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. The Truth

    what are you people doing in Minnesota?


    July 9, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. SteveO

    Who cares, he was a joke when he was a wrestler and is even more of a joke as a politician. Maybe he could win in MN but no where else.

    July 9, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. William,from Cali!

    If I was in a dark alley, I wouldn't want neither one of them with me!..................I"ll travel with,somebody I could rely on; S&W,357, or Colt 45....................................You can bet on that!

    July 9, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. California Gold

    I give him high marks for enthusiasm and conviction, but I think he's taken a few too many blows to the head. When he was on Larry King he sat there with the nerve twitches and head jerking. WTH! He launched into a diatribe about McCain being 71 years old and because he is too old to secure conventional employment he therefore should not be President. Had nothing to do with ability or politics: just age and perceived ability. Ok, I'm not voting for McCain but it was a rather empty point and he kept bringing it up over and over. So let's measure Ventura against the same yardstick he measures McCain: too old and been through too much to be able to serve in public office. LOL.

    July 9, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. Doris,Memphis,TN


    All mothers with little baby boys.
    They belong to John McCain!
    They will come back to you at age 22
    in a body bag!

    July 9, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  15. Peter

    He has no chance. Minnesota has rejected him.

    If he wants to get rid of Coleman, he should work for the opposition.

    July 9, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  16. Lena

    Please, Jesse, stay in Mexico through the first week of November, at the miminum. Even though you brought down the cost of car tab renewals and fireworks (as long as they stay on the ground), it was all about you, you, you.

    July 9, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  17. Vig

    This guy is another smuck

    July 9, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. Jon

    I'd vote for him, anything is better than another Dem or Rep.

    July 9, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  19. Matt, Manchester, CT

    Great, hopefully he'll bring back the feather boa for the senate campaign. Will that be Senator "The Body" or just plain Senator Ventura??? Is he going to grab some of his friends from "The Predator" to work on his campaign as well? I recall a CNN article where one of the other cast members from that film is also running for office somewhere.

    July 9, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Jason

    I can very firmly say that there are no circumstances of which I would ever want to be in a dark alley with Jesse Ventura.

    July 9, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. Mark, Minneapolis

    Norm Coleman is one of the least genuine and scariest people on the planet.

    Coleman has no backbone whatsoever – he is a CONSUMATE POLITICIAN who makes Bill Clinton look like an idealist.

    Proof-points include his switch from Democrat to Republican, his complete alignment with Bush for so long, now his recent attempt at moving away from Bush directly in proportion to Bush's declining popularity, his support for the war in Iraq, now trying to distance himself from that debacle....This guy is a nightmare, biggest hypocrite I've ever met.

    I wasn't a big fan af Ventura either by the end, but at least the guy has some ideals and doesn't care what people think.

    As a Minnesotan who has had to live with Pawlenty and Coleman for so long, my dream is McCain picks Pawlenty for VP and McCain loses, ridding us of that freak who has blood on his hands already from the bridge collapse (totally Pawlenty's fault for his stupid and narrow 'no new taxes' pledge which has led Minnesota to third-world road conditions – seriously I have been to China recently and almost wherever you go their roads are better than the hazards in Minnesota, I've broken 2 axles in the past year).

    Then Ventura runs and drains support from Coleman, letting Franken win. – This one is tough as Ventura would probably drain more from Franken as another 'change' candidate.

    July 9, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  22. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Thank you.
    That is the best laugh I have had all week.

    July 9, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  23. Enlightened Voter

    Mike, Syracuse NY – Obama has 8 yrs as Illionois Senator and 3 as US Senator. When you try to slam someone atleast be honest about it. Oh but you're probably a republican so never mind.

    July 9, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  24. T GUY


    July 9, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  25. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    If elected, a dark alley is precisely where Jesse will take you!

    July 9, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
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