Dwayne Johnson for president? Sure, the Rock is down if it’s ‘what the people want’
Dwayne Johnson might not resemble any of the Founding Fathers in any obvious way — except for the part where he wants a united country.
The wrestler-turned-actor, formerly known as the Rock, told NBC News’ Willie Geist that if the people want him to run for president, they might get just that.
“I do have that goal to unite our country, and I also feel that if this is what the people want, then I will do that,” Johnson said in a Monday teaser to a full interview that will air this coming weekend on “Sunday Today With Willie Geist.”
“I am passionate about making sure our country is united, because a united country, as we know, is its strongest,” said Hollywood’s highest-paid actor. “And I want to see that for our country.”
It’s looking a lot like 2003: Caitlyn Jenner, decathlete-turned-reality star, is reportedly eyeing a run for governor as Newsom faces recall.
Johnson has been talking for a while about getting into politics, including running for president, and on Saturday he addressed a Newsweek poll showing that nearly half of Americans would support him as a candidate.
“I don’t think our Founding Fathers EVER envisioned a six-four, bald, tattooed, half-Black, half-Samoan, tequila drinking, pick up truck driving, fanny pack wearing guy joining their club — but if it ever happens it’d be my honor to serve you, the people,” Johnson wrote on Instagram.
Life might imitate current art: This year’s new sitcom “Young Rock” is based on the actor-wrestler’s life and features Johnson playing himself as he runs for president in the year 2032 and flashes back to his younger days.
In 2016, speaking to British GQ, he said he hadn’t “ruled politics out” but had other things he wanted to do first.
“I’m not being coy when I say that, but at the moment I am not sure,” Johnson said. “I can’t deny that the thought of being governor, the thought of being president, is alluring. And beyond that, it would be an opportunity to make a real impact on people’s lives on a global scale.”
Shortly after that interview, he hosted the patriotic Spike TV special “Rock the Troops,” which honored U.S. service members in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Johnson talked again about running for president in 2017, using almost the same words as he did with Geist: “I think that it’s a real possibility,” he said in an interview with the U.S. edition of GQ at the time.
More recently, last June, Johnson reached out to then-President Trump via video in the days following the death of George Floyd.
“Where are you?” the movie star asked in an 8-minute-plus video posted on social media. “Where is our leader at this time ... when our country is down on its knees, begging, pleading, hurt, angry, frustrated, in pain — begging and pleading with its arms out — just wanting to be heard. Begging and pleading and praying for change. Where are you? Where is our compassionate leader who’s going to step up to our country?”
“In this moment. We must say the words, ‘Black Lives Matter.’ Where are you?” actor Dwayne Johnson said in a lengthy video message for President Trump.
Johnson, who is of Black and Samoan descent, said in the video that he felt comfortable speaking up for Americans. He previously spoke at the 2000 Republican National Convention, when he was a wrestling champion, but endorsed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the 2020 presidential race, referring to himself at that time as a political independent and centrist.
“I’m not a politician. ... I’m not the president of the United States,” the 48-year-old said in his video. “But I am a man, and I am a father who cares so deeply about my family, about my children and the world that they will live in. I care so deeply about our country and every single person in it. ...
“I am a man who is frustrated. I’m disappointed. I’m angry. But I’m also doing my best to stay focused and as calm as I could possibly be in the pocket to make the best decisions for my family and make the best decisions for our country,” he said.
So will the Rock follow in the footsteps of President and California Gov. Ronald Reagan, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura and other entertainers who found success in the realm of politics? Only time — and perhaps more home-grown videos on social media — will tell.
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