Is Dwayne Johnson ready to "rock" the White House?
The "Baywatch" actor has mulled over a run for office for the last couple of years, and given that the Oval is now occupied by a man with ― how do we put this nicely?― an unconventional political resume, it doesn't seem as far-fetched.
Speaking with GQ in a wide-ranging profile about his political ambitions and all around nice guy charm, Johnson calls a run for presidency "a real possibility."
"A year ago ... it started coming up more and more," he said. "There was a real sense of earnestness, which made me go home and think, 'Let me really rethink my answer and make sure I am giving an answer that is truthful and also respectful.'"
As a registered independent, Johnson has expressed support for both Republican and Democratic candidates in the past, but refused to publicly endorse either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. According to Johnson, both candidates tried to court him for support, but instead he stayed silent to let "Americans make up their own minds." And so they did.
"I feel like I'm in a position now where my word carries a lot of weight and influence, which of course is why they want the endorsement," Johnson said of keeping his political opinions to himself. "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."
Besides his unwavering support for the troops, it's unclear exactly what kind of president Johnson would be in terms of political priorities, but he did express disdain for Trump's travel ban without hesitation in the interview.
"I completely disagree with it," the actor said. "I believe in our national security to the core, but I don't believe in a 'ban' that bans immigrants. I believe in inclusion. Our country was built on that, and it continues to be made strong by that. And the decision felt like a snap judgment."
"I feel like the majority of, if not all, Americans feel that protection is of huge importance," he continued. "But the ideology and the execution [of national-security initiatives] is where we really have to be careful of not making those snap decisions, because there's a tail effect... Within 24 hours, we saw a 'tail effect.' It grew to heartache, it grew to a great deal of pain, it grew to a great deal of confusion, and it had a lot of people scrambling."
Another way he would differentiate himself from Trump is by welcoming the opposition, instead of stifling it. When asked about how the president is doing, Johnson didn't outright criticize Trump, but he did place an emphasis on bringing his detractors into the fold, if he should wind up in the highest political office.
"Personally, I feel that if I were president, poise would be important. Leadership would be important. Taking responsibility for everybody. [If I didn't agree with someone] on something, I wouldn't shut them out. I would actually include them," he explained. "The first thing we'd do is we'd come and sit down and we'd talk about it."