August 11th, 2010
09:08 AM ET
12 years ago

McMahon dismisses Dem attacks on wrestling past

(CNN) – Democrats may be salivating at the opportunity to take on Linda McMahon - the former World Wrestling Entertainment executive who captured Connecticut's GOP Senate nomination Tuesday night – but the ex-wrestling CEO tells CNN she welcomes a fight about her colorful past.

"As my opponents talked more and more about the WWE and issues that may have been relative to programming content ...instead of focusing on the issues, I talked about issues and continued to gain momentum," McMahon told CNN Wednesday morning.

"If my opponents want to talk about soap opera content instead of focusing on issues, I will win again in November," she added.

Democrats have already taken aim at the WWE's controversial programming over the last two decades and revelations of rampant steroid use during the 1990s. But McMahon said it's instead important to focus on the safety checks her multi-million dollar business now has in place.

"The men and women that perform at WWE really are the primary assets of the WWE. And we want to protect them at all costs," she said. "Doctors that travel with them…trainers that travel with them. We have a very comprehensive drug testing program. Let's look at where WWE is today."

McMahon now faces Attorney Gen. Richard Blumenthal, the Democrat with wide name recognition who faced allegations earlier this year of embellishing his military service by saying he had served in Vietnam when he had not. Recent polls suggest Blumenthal is holding a double-digit lead over McMahon.

Filed under: Connecticut • Linda McMahon • Richard Blumenthal
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Cfrench

    I can understand where the democrats are coming from, having lived in Minnesota while Jess Ventura was governor, but the thing is, Jesse did an excellent job and he didn't take crap from anyone. He was brutally honest and never pulled a punch. Of course the local evangelicals hated him because he called religion a crutch for weak minded people (can't argue with him there).

    It will be interesting to see if the tea baggers get behind McMahon. If they do, she's doomed.

    August 11, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  2. Jeff Clemetson of San Diego

    I hope that her opponent debates her and asks her if wrestling matches are real.

    August 11, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  3. Sam

    I strongly believe that McMahon will take this race. You have to give the lady her due....she knows how to promote...and in this case knows who she is promoting intimately. Additionally, she has 50 million dollars to spend that doesn't fall under campaign finance laws.

    August 11, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  4. CR

    How fitting. The Republican Party has degenerated into a freak show. Is it any wonder so many of us gave up on the party of nasty and crazy?

    August 11, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  5. VB Lincoln Park NJ

    We must all remember in November about the votes by the Repugnicans against the middle class, including the just passed funding for teachers, police and firefighters.

    Once again the party of the real "special interests," i.e., rich money grubbers shows it's true color. (Green for Greed.)

    Whose side are they really on is obvious!

    August 11, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. Dem in AZ

    She has got a point.

    August 11, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  7. Rush is a giant birthbag.

    Well at least she is well versed on fraud and deception,which bodes well among republicans.

    August 11, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  8. Paul from Phoenix

    These are the same Dems who cry out when the FCC censors any movies or TV shows.

    Dems are perfectly happy to praise movies like Brokeback Mountain and FIght Club, and if she were a Democrat, they would defend her. Wrestling plays to its demographic, and is on late at night. If parents don't want their kids watching it, then start parenting and turn the TV off!

    As far as steroids, I assume those who will criticize her are the same that won't watch any sports today. Also, I assume they never smoke pot or have done any illegal drugs in their lives.

    You have never done an illegal drug, nor do you continue to do illegal drugs, right hypocrite dems?????

    August 11, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  9. Expat American

    Linda McMahon is correct. While I support the (D) Party, it would be foolish for McMahon's opponents to focus solely on the $B entertainment/sports empire which the McMahons have built into a global brand.

    The McMahons know exactly what it takes to reach out to the people and deliver exactly what they want. Very few politicos in DC, (R) or (D) have been very as successful as the McMahons in this respect.

    If Linda McMahon can reconfigure what has made the WWF so popular into actual political policy; then she is a force to be reckoned with.

    This, however, remains to be seen.

    August 11, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  10. Chaco

    How could anyone criticize how she made her money? This is America and it doesn't mattter what depths you sink to in order to make a buck, just as long as you have the cash. So what if she sold sex and violence on a neanderthal level to kids and grown-ups who were not able to make it to adulthood? Its not like she's a snake oil saleswoman or an exceutive from AIG or Goldman Sachs or something. She deserves our praise for living the American Dream turned Nightmare.

    August 11, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  11. Charlie in Maine

    Focus on the future people. Ask her if she supports the GOP agenda. If she does that is plenty to attack. If she doesn't ask her why she's not a Democrat.

    August 11, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. Dennis in AZ

    Only in Conneticut! This is one of the few places on earth millionaires can square off as though they were regular people. And, the people who surround the candidates actually consider them regular people. In as much as Minnesota is renowned for electing celebrities who aren't burdened by the weight of competence, voting for millionaires is a vote for someone who knows how to get your money away from you proficiently.

    August 11, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  13. NVa Native

    "Professional" wrestling isn't – and teabagger credentials aren't. Both side shows are the worst of our society's maniacal fringe believing their delusional fantasy.

    August 11, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  14. Jess C

    Yes, for the morally righteous GOP, hypocrisy has become the code of conduct and the people who vote for them deserve what they get. No one would give a darn about the "soap opera" past if preaching their so-called Christian values wasn't rubbed constantly in all our faces. This is why the Republicans have become disdained by people who care more about issues than right-wing idealogue. The Obama haters will vote for them because they have the maturity of 5 year old. It's called acting out. WWE, now that's a mighty fine example American values: i wouldn't let my kids watch that crap.

    August 11, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. Ron in california

    I hope she gives them a Smackdown. The funny thing whils the Dems may not like her WWE past much, But most citizens don't like the Dems NOW at all.

    August 11, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  16. MikeG

    God help us all when people like this start getting elected.

    August 11, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  17. j

    I know this is exactly the type of person I'd want tackling one of the worst economic disasters in the history of this country. I mean, REALLY, what are voters thinking? This is why our system of government is doomed to fail. You can only make so many stupid decisions before the entire system collapses.

    August 11, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. Michael

    Ironic that she would defend her past when the wrestling profession promotes violence and women in lingerie wrestling, all things that the republican party has frowned upon in the past. They are, or at least were, the perty of morality. Some wrestling story lines featured cheating couples and promiscuity. Linda McMahon has to accept her past and present relations with the wrestling profession and all it promotes. She will probably not win the election, although she certainly has enough money to do so.

    August 11, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  19. Donkey Party

    A Teabagging "wrasslin" queen who's trying to buy her way into politics? Is this how low we've sunk?

    August 11, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  20. Ryan

    Democrats are unfortunately hypocritical here. I guess being a CEO of an entertainment organization is not good enough to be a senator, but a stint on SNL is.

    August 11, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  21. Lynn

    Putting lipstick on a dirty business doesn't make it clean.

    August 11, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  22. Randy, San Francisco

    How does the party of Family Values (GOP) explain a candidate like McMahon who ran an entertainment business based on violence, drugs, and abuse of women?

    August 11, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. Lori in St Pete

    Okay Linda, you want to talk issues and not about your past? Fine! But that means YOU and your ilk shouldn't bring up AG Blumenthal's past either, right?

    August 11, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. Lori in St Pete

    That she specifically didn't mention names or give examples of dems allegedly bringing up her "colorful" past, my guess is that she's engaging in straw man arguments.

    August 11, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  25. stevetall

    I love America! Only here can a non-professional, not-so-intelligent entertainment mogel be seriously considered for a position in government. What next, Nascar douche bags running for office?

    August 11, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
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