Trump’s former chief of staff says The Rock could win GOP 2024 nomination

‘Dwayne ’The Rock’ Johnson could give him a run for his money,’ says Mick Mulvaney on the former pro-wrestler’s chances

Johanna Chisholm
Wednesday 13 April 2022 19:26 BST
Dwayne Johnson quizzed
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What do Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott all have in common?

If you find yourself drawing a blank, don’t beat yourself up. Mick Mulvaney, perhaps the only person who could manage to sandwich these figures into the same thought, will have surprised some Politico readers on Wednesday when the former Trump chief of staff listed those three as the only nominees capable of upsetting the former president’s run at re-election in 2024.

“DeSantis could give him a run for his money. Tim Scott can give him a run for his money. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson could give him a run for his money,” Mr Mulvaney, now a pundit for CBS, told Politico’s Playbook.

While the first two are commonly cited figures who have floated the prospect of making a run for the GOP nomination in 2024, particularly Gov DeSantis, who Republicans have indicated a keen interest in backing as a running mate on a hypothetical Trump ticket, the Jungle Cruise actor’s name being thrown in was not as expected.

There have yet to be any statements released from the former pro-wrestler’s camp about whether there could be any truth behind Mr Mulvaney’s speculations, but it isn’t the first time that Johnson’s name has come up in relation to running for public office.

In interviews dating back as early as 2016, Johnson has openly discussed how, at various points in his life, he’s “seriously consider[ed]” making a run for the White House.

“I’ll be honest, I haven’t ruled politics out,” Johnson told British GQ in a 2016 interview. “I can’t deny that the thought of being governor, the thought of being president, is alluring. And beyond that, it would be an opportunity to make a real impact on people’s lives on a global scale.”

And then again, in 2017, he confirmed to Ellen DeGeneres during an interview on her show that he was “seriously considering it, yes”.

Shortly after confirming his intentions to DeGeneres, the actor told USA Today in a separate interview that his aspirations for the highest office in the country stemmed from a passion “to serve the people and create a better environment for them”.

As recently as April 2021, the wrestler-turned-actor has continued to flirt with the notion of throwing his name in the hat, but he continues to couch this possible run with the condition that he’d only truly commit to the bid if he had enough support from voters.

“I do have that goal to unite our country and I also feel that if this is what the people want, then I will do that,” Johnson said last year while appearing on NBC’s Today.

Should the 49-year-old decide to make a run for president, he could potentially join the club of celebrities who have used their superstar status – and multi-million-dollar pocketbooks – to fund a campaign for political office.

The very person that Mr Mulvaney thinks Johnson could pose a serious threat to challenging in the GOP nomination for 2024, Mr Trump, is the most recent person to be inducted into that select group of celebrities, which includes figures like former US president Ronald Reagan and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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