In GQ's Comedy Issue, the Baywatch actor was asked whether he would ever running for the highest public office in the U.S.A. "A year ago, it started coming up more and more," he said. "There was a real sense of earnestness, which made me go home and think, 'Let me really rethink my answer and make sure I am giving an answer that is truthful and also respectful.'"
Last summer, The Washington Post ran an opinion piece championing Johnson for president. And Johnson, who has publicly opposed some of President Donald Trump's executive actions, set the wheels in motion with his GQ interview. Although the former wrestler told the magazine he's a registered independent, a new survey from Public Policy Polling looked at his prospects if he were to run for the White House as a Democrat against Trump. In the mock 2020 election, the poll found that Johnson had 42 percent support to the billionaire businessman's 37 percent.
"The story has blown up because it was so wonderfully written," Johnson said on NBC's The Tonight Show Thursday, praising writer Caity Weaver. "She's very, very witty. She's amazing."
"As we were talking, she goes, 'Would you ever consider running for president?' I said, 'Yeah, of course I would consider it.' The surge and the groundswell since then has really been amazing," he said, adding that he's "incredibly flattered" by the poll results. "I've really been blown away."
But, as Johnson told host Jimmy Fallon, it's not necessarily about him. "You have to question why. I think it's because a lot of people want to see a different leadership—I'm sorry, a better leadership—today. I think more poise, less noise. And, I also think that over the years I've become a guy that a lot of people kind of relate to. I get up early in the morning at a ridiculous hour and go to work and send time with the troops, take care of my family—I love taking caring of people," he shared. "I think that kind of thing really resonates with people, especially today."
Still, he doesn't mind being considered as a potential candidate. "I've been blown away and I am very flattered by it," Johnson said. "Three and a half years is a long ways away, so we'll see."
Johnson's comments echoed the ones he made on ABC's Good Morning America hours earlier. "It's really been the most flattering thing," he said. Asked why he thinks he would make a good president, Johnson laughed off the question and said he had never said that. "I don't know if I would make a good president," the actor added. "I know that I have a certain skill set, and I think it's in that skill set that people see [my potential], and that people would want me to run. I also think that's reflective of them wanting to see a better leadership happening right now."
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