The system of political campaigning in the United States is tantamount to legalized bribery, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura said Tuesday.
“If you do that in private sector, you go to jail,” he said on CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report.” “You can’t bribe somebody in the private sector.
“How about open disclosure? They don’t even have to tell now where they get the money from,” he added. “The money is coming in by the boat load.”
Also a former Navy SEAL and professional wrestler, Ventura recently authored a book, titled, “DemoCRIPS and ReBLOODlicans: No More Gangs In Government.”
“What’s the Crips color? Blue. What’s a blue state? A Democratic state,” he said. “What’s the Blood color? Red? What’s a red state? A Republican state. And these parties are worse than the street gangs. You know why? Because the street gangs only affect people in the neighborhoods where they exist. The Democrats and the Republicans affect every citizen in this country.
“And, by the way, you left off billionaires. According to our research, billionaires increased their wealth five times as much in the last recession.”
Challenged on the gang analogy because of the casualty rate from related violence, Ventura doubled down on his position.
“Really? Let’s start adding up the wars,” he said. “You know, I’m 60 years old now. And do you realize that my country has been at war for over half my life? And I’m post World War II. Let’s add up the wars and how many die in those. How many civilian deaths happened daily because of our wars that we wage in this country throughout the world? You don’t add those in, do you?”
Ventura, whose bona fides include a record as a fiscal conservative while he held the governorship from 1999 through 2003, also made the argument for government-run health care.
“What do we have for veterans? Government-run health care. I understand that,” he said. “Congressmen and senators … they get five choices of government-run health care. Why should a congressman and senator get anything more than a regular citizen does? Why are they privileged and the rest of us aren’t?”
"The Kudlow Report" airs weeknights at 7 p.m. ET.
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