Matthew McConaughey says he’d be a fool not to consider running for Texas governor
We caught up with Academy Award-winning Austinite Matthew McConaughey Thursday to talk about the lineup and production of We’re Texas, the streaming musical fundraiser he and wife Camila Alves McConaughey are hosting on March 21 at 7 p.m.
The conversation eventually turned to one of the week’s hottest topics: whether McConaughey is considering running for governor of Texas. Below is the transcript of that part of the conversation.
Austin American-Statesman: Yesterday you threw a little gas on the fire and said that running for governor is a real consideration, a true consideration. Last time we talked you said I don’t know if politics is the right avenue to affect the kind of change I want to affect. Why are you hedging more toward running now and do you have a timeline on making a decision?
McConaughey: I would say, as far as running, I’m not until I am. So my decision hasn’t changed because I’m still not. Am I giving it honest consideration? Yeah. I’d be a fool not to. And it’s an honorable consideration. I still have to answer the same question for myself and my family. Honestly. Is that the truest and best category for me to be most useful? I’m ready to step into a leadership position in this next chapter of my life, but I don’t know that that’s in politics.
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As I said in that last conversation, politics has to redefine its purpose. Politics is a broken business in many ways. There’s certain handcuffs you’re going into with politics. There’s backstabbing. There’s Band-Aids. I’m not really interested in Band-Aids. I’m tired of the Band-Aids. They don’t fix the source of the problem, or what happens if someone goes and rips them off once you’re out of office. I’m looking for what is my category to be useful as a leader. And, yes, I am considering, as I said I’d be a fool not to, to consider the honor to go into the position of politics, as the governor of Texas. But I honestly have to ask myself, “How can I be most useful?” And maybe that’s as a free agent.
You have a really high Q Score or approval rating, I imagine. Maybe not everybody loves you, but you definitely have a positive approval rating. Getting into politics can be a nasty business and all of a sudden 51% of people like you or don’t like you. Does that bother you at all?
I’m 51 now. I’m wise enough to know that what Sammy Davis Jr. said was true: “I don’t know what success is, but I know failure’s trying to please everybody,” you know? Sure, I still l love the idea of chasing “unanimous,” but I understand that’s just not realistic, so I don’t have those expectations. Look, I’m a "Meet You in the Middle" man. When I say “aggressively centric,” that sometimes gets parceled over there with "Oh, that’s a shade of grey, a compromise.” And I say, “Bullshit. That’s a dare. Right now, that’s radical. You wanna be brave? Come on over here.” Why? Because you got more agility, cause you got more adaptability. Because there’s different situations for different sides. Sometimes the left is better at this, sometimes the right. There’s different choices for different circumstances.
And right now, where politics has gone, where the great divide not only in Texas but in the United States, the left thinks the right’s racist and the right thinks the left’s Socialist. Well, that ain’t true. Then you go, well, the left is for empathy, compassion and solidarity; well the right’s for resilience and work ethic and responsibility. I’m like, I like all six of those. Those are values that our mamas taught us. The right and the left don’t have ownership of those, excluding the other side.
Would you be thinking about a Jesse Ventura-Independent run or would you run under (one of the two major) a party’s ticket or is that undecided?
I haven’t gotten that far yet. I’m just in the zone of trying to look it in the eye and really consider it. And, you know what — and as of right now, I’m not — it’s a wonderful and honorable thing to even be able to project and think, “What would you do? How do you feel? What does that entail?" It’s an awesome position to be in, and I would be a fool to not actually look it in the eye and consider what that would mean for me, what that could mean for Texas, you know?