Appearing recently on Steve Austin's podcast, Jesse Ventura said Vince McMahon should be glad that "The Body" never pursued a run at the U.S. Senate.
Ventura has long argued against the WWE labeling its talent as independent contractors and advocated for the wrestlers to unionize, two topics he addressed on the Steve Austin Show.
"Vince is lucky I didn't go for the Senate because had I'd gone into the Senate, I would have started a senatorial investigation as to why pro wrestlers are called 'independent contractors' when they're not," said Ventura, who is the former Governor of Minnesota. "You work for one company. They order you around, control your whole life. How are you possibly an independent contractor? Except, they don't have to pay your social security. That's why. And so Vince is lucky that I never got to the Senate because I would have investigated that because, to me, look at the thousands of dollars it [has] cost all of us wrestlers to have to pay 15% or whatever it is as an independent contractor on our taxes. That's a bee that has been under my saddle since I began wrestling. I thought, 'we are not independent contractors - we can't work for another promotion on Wednesday and work for you on Friday. It don't work that way. How are we independent contractors?'"
Ventura lobbied his fellow wrestlers to unionize and, on the podcast, he said he gave a speech prior to WrestleMania 2 to the locker room on the topic, only to be threatened the next day by McMahon.
"The next night, I got a phone call from Vince who basically threatened to fire me if I ever brought it up again and read me the riot act. And I then did WrestleMania 2 and immediately left and did Predator and was a member of the Screen Actors Guild now, my union that I get retirement from now, healthcare from, all of that from. And so, when I came back, I told Vince point-blank, 'Vince, I won't ever bring up union again.' And I said, 'if these guys are too stupid to fight for their rights, I have my union now. I'm a member of the Screen Actors Guild. I get healthcare, I get retirement, I get everything from them. I'll pay my union dues.' "
Ventura publicly pondered a run for President as a Libertarian late last year and early this year before instead supporting the Libertarian nominee, Gary Johnson.