Jesse Ventura torn between backing Sanders, Trump

Getty Images

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura (I) on Monday said he is torn between supporting Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders: I don't hate Clinton Trump: Hillary probably 'demanded' Lynch meeting Sanders skirts Biden's claim that he'll endorse Clinton MORE (I-Vt.) or Donald TrumpDonald TrumpElection model: Clinton will win easily Trump condemns Israeli girl's murder Poll: 13 percent prefer meteor hitting earth over Clinton, Trump MORE for president.

“People give them no PAC money, no special interest money,” he told The Associated Press. "To me, that’s the most important thing."

Ventura said he admires both Sanders and Trump for campaigning outside of the Democratic and Republican political establishments. The former professional wrestler added that their bids resemble his own underdog gubernatorial campaign as a Reform Party candidate in 1998.

Ventura, who is still weighing his own White House run as an independent, also told AP he would not make a formal endorsement because he does not belong to either candidate’s party.

Ventura added that his final decision on seeking the Oval Office depends on who wins each party’s nomination. He said "the chances are better" that he would run if Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonClinton pens tribute to feminist website The Toast Hillary Clinton reads 'sigh' off her teleprompter Election model: Clinton will win easily MORE is the Democratic nominee and Marco RubioMarco RubioWhich GOP pols will actually show up at the convention? Poll: Rubio holds massive lead in primary Rubio: Turkey attack 'directed' by ISIS MORE is her Republican counterpart. 

“I don’t want the revolution to die if Bernie gets beat,” he added.

Ventura was spotted at a Sanders campaign rally later Monday by a newspaper reporter who was told Ventura and Sanders had a private meeting planned.

Ventura’s remarks to the AP came one day before Minnesota votes on Super Tuesday.

Clinton leads Sanders by 34 percent in the North Star State, according to a Star Tribune/Mason-Dixon poll released late last month. Trump ranks third on the Republican side of the contest there, pollsters added, trailing Rubio by 5 points and Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzLynch pressured to recuse herself after Clinton tarmac meeting The Trail 2016: Meet and greet and grief Trump to meet with Senate GOP next week MORE (R-Texas) by 3 points.

--This report was updated at 2:09 p.m.

More in Ballot Box

Poll: Sanders, Rubio most popular VP picks

Read more »