By Judy Kurtz - 05/30/14 06:00 AM EDT
He’s the talk show king, but Dr. Phil McGraw says he has no intention of turning his daytime T.V. dominance into political success, saying “no” to any plan to run for public office.
“Oh no,” McGraw (known simply as Dr. Phil to viewers) replied before chuckling when asked by ITK on Thursday whether he would consider a political run.
“You have to figure a way that you can have the greatest impact. I do want to contribute to what’s going on in America and I think I’ve been given a great street corner to speak from,” he said.
“My focus is trying to make mental health an open dialogue in America, where you don’t have to be ashamed if you need help and you’re getting help. And what I’m trying to do is bring psychological services, psychological commentary to people’s homes in America for free. And I think that’s keeping me plenty busy.”
The drugs, McGraw says, are “prescribed to foster children three times more than their non-foster counterparts.” He exclaimed, “That is a dangerous problem.”
While he’s traveled to Washington several times before to testify on different issues — including domestic abuse and cyber-bullying — McGraw doesn’t consider himself a political junkie.
“I tried not to get bogged down in all of that,” he says of politics. He uses one of his classic “Dr. Phil-isms” to explain his preference: “I’m much more interested in the output of our government. It’s kind of like, I don’t want to go through the labor, just show me the baby.”
The T.V. host and psychologist says he, like many Americans, gets frustrated by the legislative process: “All the infighting — and when you try to get something authorized, you try to get a bill enacted, I get so frustrated with everybody that tags everything on to it. And all these riders and things that go through, it really clouds the issue.”
But McGraw says he’s “particularly interested in giving a voice to those that really can’t speak for themselves,” quipping, “I’m not going to be up here telling you what to do with your 401(k).”