Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura (I) on Monday said he is torn between supporting Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats: Where the hell are You? Sanders on Trump pick: This is how a rigged economy works Trump picks Goldman Sachs chief for top economic adviser: report MORE (I-Vt.) or Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSecret CIA assesment: Russia was attempting to assist Trump Trump closes four companies tied to Saudi Arabia Manchin says he's not talking with Trump about job 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 ClintonSecret CIA assesment: Russia was attempting to assist Trump Joy Behar: Why do I have to be nice about Trump? Poll: Republicans think media ‘intentionally misled the public’ about polling MORE is the Democratic nominee and Marco RubioMarco RubioWhat Trump's Cabinet picks reveal House passes water bill with Flint aid, drought relief What the 2016 election can tell us about 2018 midterms 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.
Just bumped into former Gov. Jesse Ventura at Sanders rally in Minneapolis. Says he was headed for a private meeting with Sanders. #mncaucus— Patrick Condon (@patricktcondon) February 29, 2016
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 CruzCruz, DeSantis to introduce constitutional amendment on term limits Fiorina to meet with Trump on Monday Trump picks Goldman Sachs chief for top economic adviser: report MORE (R-Texas) by 3 points.
--This report was updated at 2:09 p.m.