Former wrestler and Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is mad that his lawsuit against airport pat-downs was dropped. He’s also thinking about running for president.
He laid it all out at a news conference outside the federal courthouse in St. Paul Friday afternoon, after his lawsuit was tossed out of federal court a day earlier. The lawsuit argued that body searches at airports — a particularly common event for Ventura since he got a titanium hip implant several years ago — violated his right against unreasonable and unwarranted searches.
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson didn’t address the merits of Ventura’s suit, but said she lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. Because of the suit, Ventura says he hasn’t flown in almost a year now, and he doesn’t plan to fly commercially ever again. “I’m on record saying the judicial system in this country is a bunch of cowards,” he said.
Ventura didn’t say whether he would appeal the decision, but suggested that he didn’t want to because it would not appear before a jury, only a judge. He also said the government and courts were against veterans, and that the ordeal has stripped him of his patriotism. “I have lost my patriotism,” Ventura said. “It is gone, because they’ve stripped me of it by not allowing me to have my day in court.”
What’s more, Ventura said he and the “first lady” plan to apply for dual citizenship in Mexico, adding that he will no longer salute the American flag or stand for the national anthem. He also referred to the U.S. as “the Fascist States of America.”
“I will never stand for a national anthem again,” he said. “I will turn my back and raise a fist, the same way Tommie Smith and John Carlos did back in the 1968 Olympics, Jesse Ventura will do that today.”
Members of Congress do not have to go through the same airport searches, a point that irks Ventura. “The Speaker of the House doesn’t have to face this, well I got news for you, I did six years in the underwater demolition seal team and John Boehner couldn’t even make it through boot camp. He’s more patriotic than me?”
When it comes to his presidential ambitions, he’s just “thinking about it. That’s all.”
“I couldn’t have been treated any worse down in Havana, Cuba than I’ve been treated here,” he said. “The only way that I could change it I guess would be to run for president and win it.”
Ventura closed the press conference by quoting a “good friend:” “This is not the country I was born in, and it’s certainly not the country I’m going to die in. That’s Kevin Costner in JFK.”