Dwayne Johnson’s Politics: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Dennis Hastert The Rock

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R) and The Rock at the 2000 Republican National Convention. (Getty)

Do you smell what The Rock is politicking? Dwayne Johnson, 45, set off a media blitz in May 2017 when he once again talked about possible political aspirations. In an interview with GQ Magazine, Johnson said running was a “real possibility.” Johnson went on to tell the magazine that both Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had asked for his endorsement but he refused.

The wrestler/actor says, “I feel like I’m in a position where my word carries a lot of weight and influence, which of course is why they want the endorsement. But I also have a tremendous amount of respect for the process and felt like if I did share my political views publicly, a few things would happen… I felt like it would either a() make people unhappy with the thought of whatever my political view was. And, also, it might sway an opinion, which I didn’t want to do.”

Here’s what you need to know about The Great One’s politics:


1. Johnson Says, ‘I Love My Country, I’m Extremely Patriotic’

The Rock addresses the WWE Universe after Sept. 11The Rock addresses the WWE Universe after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks More WWE – http://www.wwe.com/2011-05-04T07:02:08.000Z

During a 2016 interview with Reuters, Johnson said, “I love my country, I’m extremely patriotic and I also feel, especially now, leadership is so important, great leadership is so important, respected leadership is so important.” While Johnson added, “If I felt like I could be an effective leader for us, and surround myself with really high-quality leaders, then sure, I would.”

Johnson then told Reuters that he felt his burgeoning career as a movie producer would help him learn the skills needed to be a political leader. “I’ve found really good success in being able to galvanize people in a positive way and continued to push them, as I’ve pushed myself along the way too, because I walk what I talk, daily, which I think is an important quality.”

The Rock Obama Cold Open – SNLAfter the actions of Rep. John Boehner (Taran Killam), Sen. Ted Cruz (Bobby Moynihan) and Sen. Tom Cotton (Kyle Mooney) make him lose his cool, President Obama (Jay Pharoah) turns into The Rock Obama (Dwayne Johnson). #SNL Subscribe to SNL: https://goo.gl/tUsXwM Stream Current Full Episodes: http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live Watch Past SNL Seasons:  Google Play – http://bit.ly/SNLGooglePlay  iTunes – http://bit.ly/SNLiTunes Follow SNL Social – SNL Instagram: http://instagram.com/nbcsnl  SNL Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/snl SNL Twitter: https://twitter.com/nbcsnl SNL Tumblr: http://nbcsnl.tumblr.com/ SNL Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nbcsnl/2015-03-29T08:45:41.000Z

A few months previously, Alyssa Rosenberg, wrote in the Washington Post that Johnson had a “weirdly plausible path to a political career. The facts cited included that Johnson is mixed-race and is a registered Republican from Florida, a swing state to whomever wants to become president.

That Post piece was based of a previous interview that Johnson had done with GQ’s British iteration in 2016. Johnson said at the time:

I’ll be honest, I haven’t ruled politics out. I’m not being coy when I say that, but at the moment I’m not sure. 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. But there are a lot of other things I want to do first.

The Post feature was also based on an Independent Review Journal article.

Johnson tweeted a positive response to the idea:

Johnson told the Associated Press in 2014, “I have good friends who are politicians on both sides. Clinton is a good buddy of mine, Obama is a good buddy of mine. A multitude of people who are buddies.”


2. Johnson Gave a ‘Very Odd’ Speech at the 2000 Republican Convention

The Rock at Republican National Convention 2000August 2, 2000 @ First Union Center, Philadelphia. The Rock was the WWF champion at the time.2013-01-06T16:18:09.000Z

In 2000, Johnson appeared at about the Democratic and Republican conventions as part of a WWE voter drive. During his appearance at the GOP event, Johnson introduced the disgraced former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert. Johnson referred to Hastert as “America’s best-known former high school wrestling coach.”

The Rock Desire – Alive by P.O.Daired 20022008-07-09T22:01:45.000Z

ABC News reported at the time that some hardline conservatives, including the Parents Television Council, were angry that Johnson was given a platform at the event. The year 2000 was arguably the height of WWE’s racy Attitude era. At the time of the PTC’s protests, the WWE included the message, “Leave our wrestling alone,” on their website.

During the 2016 Republican National Convention, Slate posted an article about Johnson’s appearance in 2000, referring to is as “very odd.”


3. The Rock Backed Away From Under Armor CEO Kevin Plank’s Pro-Trump Stance

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I appreciate and welcome the feedback from people who disagree (and agree) with Kevin Plank's words on CNBC, but these are neither my words, nor my beliefs. His words were divisive and lacking in perspective. Inadvertently creating a situation where the personal political opinions of UA’s partners and its employees were overshadowed by the comments of its CEO. A good company is not solely defined by its CEO. A good company is not defined by the athlete or celebrity who partners with them. A good company is not a single person. A good company is a team, a group of brothers and sisters committed to working together each and every day to provide for their families and one another and the clients they serve. We don’t partner with a brand casually. I partner with brands I trust and with people who share my same values. That means a commitment to diversity, inclusion, community, open-mindedness and some serious hard work. But it doesn't mean that I or my team will always agree with the opinion of everyone who works there, including its executives. Great leaders inspire and galvanize the masses during turbulent times, they don't cause people to divide and disband. My responsibility here is not only to the global audience we serve, but also to the thousands of workers who pour blood, sweat, and tears into making Under Armour strong. A diverse group of hardworking men and women who possess integrity, respect and compassion for one another and the world they live in. Debate is healthy. But in a time of widespread disagreement, so is loyalty. I feel an obligation to stand with this diverse team, the American and global workers, who are the beating heart and soul of Under Armour and the reason I chose to partner with them. My commitment is as real as my sweat and callouses that thicken daily. #CommittedToThePeople

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Earlier in 2017, Johnson diffused a political hot potato with skill when when Under Armor CEO Kevin Plank praised Donald Trump. Johnson wrote to his fans in the above Instagram post where he wrote that Plank’s opinion was “neither my words, nor my beliefs.” Johnson referred to the company as having a “commitment to diversity, inclusion, community, open-mindedness and some serious hard work.”

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank: The Rise To The Top | Mad Money | CNBCHe started Under Armour in his grandmother's basement less than 20 years ago. Today, his company is the biggest threat to the top spot in sportswear. Jim Cramer finds out how Kevin Plank rose to the top. » Subscribe to CNBC: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC » Watch more Mad Money here: http://bit.ly/WatchMadMoney » Read more about Under Armour here: http://cnb.cx/1o1jwwL "Mad Money" takes viewers inside the mind of one of Wall Street's most respected and successful money managers. Jim Cramer is your personal guide through the confusing jungle of Wall Street investing, navigating through both opportunities and pitfalls with one goal in mind — to try to help you make money. About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Get More Mad Money! Read the latest news: http://madmoney.cnbc.com Watch full episodes: http://bit.ly/MadMoneyEpisodes Follow Mad Money on Twitter: http://bit.ly/MadMoneyTwitter Like Mad Money on Facebook: http://bit.ly/LikeMadMoney Follow Cramer on Twitter: http://bit.ly/FollowCramer Connect with CNBC News Online! Visit CNBC.com: http://www.cnbc.com/ Find CNBC News on Facebook: http://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: http://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Google+: http://cnb.cx/PlusCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: http://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank: The Rise To The Top | Mad Money | CNBC2016-02-10T00:39:10.000Z

Plank had said in an interview on CNBC that Trump was “an asset to the country.”


4. The Rock Got Into a Beef With New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in 2014

Chris Christie Pension Mockery Video. "No Pain. No Gain"NJ Gov. Chris Christie had his PR team make a video about the pension issue. This is the result. I suppose it's funny to some people. To those who have been paying their share into the pension while NJ skips its pension payments for 20 or so years, it's no joke. Update: Christie's people quickly removed the video from his account when the backlash started. They have since posted an edited version. This is the version in its original form.2014-07-15T20:13:34.000Z

In 2014, Johnson got into a political beef with Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Johnson said that Christie’s reelection campaign had used his likeness without permission. Christie’s people backed down and Johnson’s references were taken out of the campaign ad, though you can still see it above.

Johnson would tell the Associated Press after the mini-scandal that he and Christie are friends. Johnson said:

I know Gov. Christie. We’ve met a couple of times. But in no way was I associated with what he had going on. He had his team of people around him who kind of put that together.

I saw it. I was like well, I don’t have anything to do with it, so now you’ve got to pull it down.

The campaign video was presented as a fake movie trailer based on Johnson’s movie, Pain & Gain. This is the revised version:

No Pain. No Gain.2014-07-16T20:39:58.000Z


5. Prior to the Rock, Hulk Hogan Announced a Faux Run for President in 1998 While Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura Was the Governor of Minnesota

Jesse Ventura 1999 Documentary We Shocked the WorldJesse Ventura 1999 Documentary, "We Shocked the World" Documentary made shortly after Ventura's inauguration as Minnesota governor in 1999 featuring interviews with Jesse and his wife and clips from his campaign and inaugural address.2016-02-15T21:23:47.000Z

Johnson would in no way be the first person from the entertainment world to enter politics. Trump, Reagan and Schwarzenegger were all stars before they jumped on Republican tickets. While in wrestling, the most famous crossover came in 1998 when Jesse “The Body” Ventura became the Governor of Minnesota. Ventura had been mooted as a possible candidate for the Libertarian Party in 2016 but “The Body” ultimately supported party nominee Gary Johnson in a CNBC editorial.

VideoVideo related to dwayne johnson’s politics: 5 fast facts you need to know2017-05-11T19:33:51-04:00

In a 1998 appearance on The Tonight Show, Hulk Hogan told Jay Leno that he was leaving wrestling in order to run for president. Though initially thought of a wrestling angle, Hogan later told Larry King in a 1999 interview:

It’s something that’s not out of the question, because with everybody having a different agenda and everybody owing everybody something in the political arena, it would be nice to have somebody that could put American first…

The way I look at it, if Jesse Ventura could become Governor of Minnesota, I mean basically beat Jesse at everything he’s done anyway in his life, so I might as well run for the president.

There was even polling done in Atlanta to see how many votes Hogan would garner. The event was covered in detail in a 2012 Bleacher Report feature.

While in Washington, former WWE CEO, Linda McMahon, wife of Vince, was named into Trump’s campaign as the Administrator of the Small Business Administration. McMahon was confirmed with a vote of 81-19 in February 2017.