Not so long ago, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson flirted with the idea of running for president in 2020. That didn’t last long, but now the professional wrestler who went on to become a beloved movie star has decided to dip his toes in presidential politics for the first time in his career by openly throwing his support behind the Democratic ticket. Johnson released a video Sunday in which he endorsed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, marking the first time the Fast and Furious star has publicly backed a presidential candidate as he characterized the November vote as “critical.”
“I’m going to be pushing this political conversation just a little bit more,” Johnson says in the video that he posted on his social media platforms as he introduced footage of a virtual conversation he had with Biden and Harris. “Look, I’ve got friends in all parties, but the one thing we can always agree on is the conversation and the dialogue, and where that conversation lands is always the most critical part. Now, this is something that I’ve certainly not done in the past, so I’m going to go big. You guys know me, if I go, I go big!” Johnson emphasized he is a “registered independent … with centrist ideologies” and feels that Biden and Harris “are the best choice to lead our country.”
Johnson never mentions President Donald Trump in his message but it was difficult not to read some of his words as thinly veiled references to the president. “Progress takes courage, humanity, empathy, strength, grit, kindness and respect,” he said. “Being KIND & RESPECTFUL to one another will always matter.”
As part of their virtual conversation, Johnson praised Biden and Harris—calling the vice-presidential candidate a “certified badass”—and asked them how they planned to “earn the respect of the American people” once they’re in the White House. “By doing what we say we’re going to do, by keeping our word, by leveling with the American people, by taking responsibility,” Biden said. “When we fail, acknowledge it. We’re not going to be perfect, but take responsibility!“ Harris also emphasized telling the truth. “One of the foundations of trust is truth, you must speak truth,” Harris said. Johnson ends the video by suggesting he will continue to be involved in the presidential campaign: “There is much more to come.”
In 2017, Johnson said he was “seriously considering” running for president. It wasn’t the first time he mentioned he could be interested in being involved in politics but he said then he was eyeing the possibility of running for president in 2020, claiming he was responding to people who were calling on him to run. In a 2018 interview, Johnson told Rolling Stone he twice voted for Barack Obama but didn’t vote in 2016. “At the time, I just felt like it was either vote for the [candidate] I thought would make a better president than the other, even though I would rather have someone else, or not vote at all,” he said. “I wrestled back and forth with it.” He seemed to have regrets over his decision and vowed to be more involved next time. “The next elections, in 2020, I think I’ll be a little bit more vocal in who I support,” he said.
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