Jesse Ventura on Two-Party System

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," April 11, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Pennsylvania now just 11 days away. My next guest says that it is time to forget about the Democrats and Republicans. We need an independent candidate to break up this corrupt two-party system, as he calls it, Jesse Ventura, of course, the former governor of Minnesota and author of "Don't Start the Revolution Without Me."

Governor, how you doing?

• Video: Watch Neil's interview

JESSE VENTURA, FORMER GOVERNOR OF MINNESOTA: Neil, doing great. Couldn't be better.

CAVUTO: Thanks for coming.

VENTURA: My pleasure.

CAVUTO: You look different. What is going on there?


VENTURA: I always look different. This is the first time I have been clean-shaven in probably 35 years, because, even when I was governor, I had a shaved head. But I had a mustache. And, so, I like to change my looks.

CAVUTO: You actually look meaner now. See, when you were governor, you look mean, but now you look even meaner.

VENTURA: Well, I have to be. I'm here at FOX News.


VENTURA: You know, you better look mean when you come here. I mean, I saw Newt Gingrich roaming the halls. You never know when he might jump you.


CAVUTO: Well, I saw you on "Larry King." I thought they were going to serve you tea.

(LAUGHTER) CAVUTO: Let me get your take on the race right now.


CAVUTO: You have any horse in this race?

VENTURA: No, I really don't.

I really believe, Neil, that we should be offered if — if an independent is not allowed in, and is not allowed to debate, I really believe, in all local, national, and federal elections, we should have none of the above.

Now, people chuckle at that, but what it really means is this: I am here to participate in voting. I am here to participate in the system, but it is a vote of no confidence in government. And that is a vote I would take today, because the Democrats and Republicans now have us $9 trillion in debt.

Now, we work our whole private lives to hopefully leave an inheritance for our kids, right? Well, get ready. Your kids are going to not have a dime, because they're — eventually, that is going to come due, and it is going to come to the government. Everything...

CAVUTO: Well, what makes you think an independent is the type to address that?

VENTURA: Well, because they certainly aren't. Both of them spend like drunken sailors. The only difference is, the Democrats reach right into your wallet with tax and spend. The Republicans, they are more shifty and sneaky. They put it on the old credit card, which is the national debt. But they both spend...


CAVUTO: You hate them both?

VENTURA: Yes — I don't hate them. I just — I don't hate anyone. But...

CAVUTO: How about loathe? How about loathe?

VENTURA: Well, I just would prefer to take my country back. That's why I have...


CAVUTO: All right, so, of the three prominent candidates — now, I know you address this in your book.


CAVUTO: But you have the — Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain.


CAVUTO: Who of those is the least offensive to you? How is that?

VENTURA: Well, as the late, great Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead said, when you are made to pick the least of three evils, you are still picking evil, aren't you?

Who is the least? Barack Obama. He is the newest. He is not so much a career politician as the other two. And I would say that, to me, he is the least of the three. But will I vote for him? No, I will not.


CAVUTO: Right. OK.

So, we have a number who are entertaining independent runs for the White House, Ralph Nader. We had Congressman Barr here the other day.


CAVUTO: He is looking at it. Could be more. Ron Paul, some of his enthusiasts say, run as a third party.


CAVUTO: How would that go, if you had, let's say, five or six people running?

VENTURA: Terrific. It gives you — it makes it like the grocery store.

Right now, when you go in the grocery store, to the soft drink department, you have only Coke and Pepsi to choose from, two colas, one slightly sweeter than the other, depending which side of the ledger you're on.

CAVUTO: So, you want more choice?

VENTURA: I want more choices. I am fiscally conservative, but I am socially liberal. Nobody of these represents me.

CAVUTO: Oh, but, Governor, the rap against an independent candidate even succeeding — and you succeeded at getting elected governor...


CAVUTO: ... is that it is very hard to work with traditional Republicans and Democrats, because they are going to make your life difficult.

So, unless you get a lot of independents elected with you, they are up against the same wall that a traditionalist would be.


But that fits both feet. I make their life very difficult, too. Remember that. To me, it is all about why we need more than two. When Abraham Lincoln was president, we had three choices.


CAVUTO: And his was the upstart party at the time, right?

VENTURA: Yes. And how much has our population grown since then? Immensely.

Why is — the two-party system, it — to me, it gives you one more choice than communist Russia...


CAVUTO: All right.

VENTURA: ... or Castro in Cuba. Castro would run.


VENTURA: Well, you either voted for...


VENTURA: ... or nothing. Well, wow. We give you two.

CAVUTO: But is this book, Governor — and your appearance — you have been doing the circuit, and we are happy to include you here...


CAVUTO: ... your way of saying, hey, I am here?

VENTURA: No, it really isn't. I look at it more as a wakeup call. I am trying to wake up the lemmings, the people, you know, that go along and kind of just fall off the cliff because they accept.

Always remember, we are being told now that to speak out against our government is unpatriotic. Thomas Jefferson said, dissension is the greatest form of patriotism.

CAVUTO: So, why did you...


VENTURA: Now, what is that method? What is he saying there?

CAVUTO: Well, wait a minute, Governor. Well, then, why didn't you practice that?


CAVUTO: No, you didn't. You left. You went into the wilderness. You have a house without power, right, pretty much?

VENTURA: No, I'm solar.

CAVUTO: Solar power?

VENTURA: Solar power.

CAVUTO: But everyone said, you just dropped off the face of the earth. VENTURA: Yes, I did.

CAVUTO: Like you were a bitter, angry man.

VENTURA: No, not a bit, not a bit. If you will read the book, you will find out why.

CAVUTO: But when...


VENTURA: Wait a minute. I did not run again because of my wife's health.

CAVUTO: I realize that.

VENTURA: And I will put my wife and our marriage ahead of any political job. That is why I left.


CAVUTO: You were not remotely fed up with the system and the way that the two parties were trying to corner you?



In fact, if I would not have been married, my parents are gone, and there's only my Navy SEAL brother, I — they would have had me for two or three more terms, because always remember, from us Navy SEALS, we don't get mad. We get even.

CAVUTO: Is that your way of saying you would come back?


VENTURA: And then there is another thing we do, too, to add to that. Remember, you have got to sleep sometime.


CAVUTO: So, that's a — it sounds to me, Governor, that is your way of saying, you know, I will be back.

VENTURA: I might. But as a good Navy SEAL, we are clandestine. We don't show our hand until it is too late.

CAVUTO: Would your hand, let's say, be of the state or federal persuasion?

VENTURA: Well, I have done state, and I have done local. I was a mayor. I was a governor. There is only other one left. Been there, done that.


CAVUTO: That's the big one, with the pillars in the front of the house?

VENTURA: Well, not necessarily.


CAVUTO: Oh, so maybe Senate?

VENTURA: There is an interesting Senate race in Minnesota taking place between a chicken hawk and a carpetbagger.



CAVUTO: So, you would be interested in what Franken is interested in?

VENTURA: Yes, except I lived there my whole life. I am not coming back. I mean, Al Franken probably don't even have a driver's license in Minnesota.

CAVUTO: So, you want to run for Senate?

VENTURA: No, I don't want to do anything.

CAVUTO: You don't want him to get elected?

VENTURA: I don't what either one of them.

CAVUTO: OK. So, that sounds to me like you're running.

VENTURA: No, it does not.

CAVUTO: You are not going to tell me anything, are you?


CAVUTO: You told Larry King more, you know. You liked him.

VENTURA: Well, Larry had me on longer.


CAVUTO: All right, Governor, I think you enjoy this.



VENTURA: And I was also handcuffed for three years. I signed that huge contract with MSNBC, and they would not put me on, because I opposed the Iraq war.

So, I could not do anything. I could not do any news shows. I could not do cable or satellite. Well, that contract is gone now. So, I am getting a chance to vent. I'm back.

CAVUTO: What do you think of them?

VENTURA: What do I think of them?

I think that they are controlled by corporate and that we do not have necessarily free speech in this country anymore, that it's very controlled, because you notice that they cut Phil Donahue, and he was their highest- rated show. Have you ever heard of a network cutting its highest-rated show? Never.

CAVUTO: What do you think about how they handled Tucker Carlson?

VENTURA: I wasn't familiar. What did they do?

CAVUTO: OK. Well, he disappeared.


CAVUTO: But do you — did you like working with them as people?

VENTURA: I never had a chance.


VENTURA: You know, how can you like or dislike when you are not given a chance? And, so, I can't really answer whether I did or did not, because I was not given the chance.

CAVUTO: Governor, thank you.

VENTURA: Maybe, if FOX truly is fair and balanced, they will give me a job here, and then we will find out if they are fair and balanced...

CAVUTO: If we don't, will you beat us up?

VENTURA: ... if they have got guts enough.

Beat you up? Uh-uh.


CAVUTO: Because Bill O'Reilly is right outside.

VENTURA: Wait. Always remember this.

When I was in first-phase training to be a Navy SEAL, we had an instructor named Terry "Mother" Moi (ph). And one day — there is a word that comes after "mother," too, but I can't say it.

CAVUTO: Yes. I know.


VENTURA: And, one day, one of the trainees said, "Instructor Moi (ph), when do we get hand-to-hand combat?"

And Instructor Moi turned and said, with a Stoner machine gun, "No one should ever get that close."


VENTURA: So, I don't beat anybody up.

CAVUTO: You have spent a lot of time alone in the wilderness, haven't you, Governor?

VENTURA: No. My wife is with me.


VENTURA: My wife is with me, Neil.


CAVUTO: Everything is OK?

VENTURA: Everything — she has recovered beautifully. Thank you for asking. Her health is back now, very much. And the Baja helped do that. CAVUTO: OK.

VENTURA: So, I have a great love for the Baja.

CAVUTO: All right. Very good seeing you, Governor.

VENTURA: Thank you.

CAVUTO: Be well with everything.

VENTURA: You, too.

CAVUTO: Bill is right outside there. I am sure he would love to chat with you.

VENTURA: No, Bill hides from me.

CAVUTO: No, he doesn't. He doesn't hide from anyone.

VENTURA: I'm the man who terrifies Bill O'Reilly.

CAVUTO: Really?


CAVUTO: I thought I was.


CAVUTO: All right, Governor, very good seeing you.

VENTURA: All right. Thank you.


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