Ventura disagrees with comparison to Trump

Donald Trump and Jesse Ventura
Well before Donald Trump shook up the race for the Republican presidential nomination, there was Jesse Ventura, who won 1998's gubernatorial race in Minnesota.
Richard Drew | AP 2000

Donald Trump won sweeping GOP victories across the South and in New England on Super Tuesday. Trump's appeal among disenchanted voters and his bombastic style have drawn comparisons to 1998, when former professional wrestler Jesse "The Body" Ventura won an unexpected victory for Minnesota governor.

But Ventura told MPR's Cathy Wurzer Wednesday that he identifies more with the grassroots pitch from Democratic anti-establishment candidate Bernie Sanders.

"I'm not a billionaire and can't finance my own campaign like Donald Trump did. And I didn't put one dollar of my money into it — although I did pay for all my own gas as I drove my car around Minnesota," Ventura said.

Ventura said he is refusing requests to endorse either Trump or Sanders, saying he won't support a candidate from the two major parties.

"See as a complete independent I despise the two parties, and I love the fact that they're crumbling before our eyes with these two candidates," said Ventura.

Ventura said he believes neither of the outsider candidates can win their parties' nominations because, he says, the contests are "rigged". He worries that if Sanders drops out, the Democrat will throw support to Hillary Clinton.

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"Bernie's going to stop the revolution because if he loses he's going to endorse Hillary, he told me that," Ventura says, "and I was very disappointed in that because the revolution needs to keep going, but apparently Senator Sanders will end it with his run."

Ventura also took a jab at Republican candidate Marco Rubio, who called Ventura "an embarrassment." Rubio won Minnesota Tuesday night in his first victory of the campaign.

"I find it offensive that somebody who wants to be the Commander in Chief of our military would call a Vietnam veteran an embarrassment," Ventura said. "I'm embarrassed over the fact the Republicans picked a chicken hawk like him to be who they want for president."

Ventura says he's seriously considering a run for president as a libertarian.