The new role

McConaughey says he's seriously considering Texas governor run

"I'm looking into now again, what is my leadership role?" said McConaughey

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POLITICS PRESS GROUP

Matthew McConaughey has announced he is “seriously considering” a run for Texas governor, a year before the state election. The actor revealed his intention on a recent episode of Crime Stoppers of Houston’s The Balanced Voice podcast on Wednesday. He told the host, Rania Mankarious, that running for governor was a “true consideration”.

“I’m looking into now again, what is my leadership role?” he said. “Because I do think I have some things to teach and share, and what is my role? What’s my category in my next chapter of life that I’m going into?”

If McConaughey launches a gubernatorial campaign, he will face Greg Abbott, a Republican who is up for re-election.

This isn’t the first time the 51-year-old Oscar winner has hinted at the idea. When asked in November 2020 by the conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt whether he would consider a bid, he responded, “It would be up to the people more than it would me.” He called politics a “broken business” and said it would only garner more interest when it “redefines its purpose”.

McConaughey’s political affiliation is unknown, and many online are speculating whether he would run as a Republican or Democrat. While there is no clear indication of which side he falls on, his past comments on hot-button issues such as gun violence, masks and defunding the police can offer some clarity.

In October, McConaughey was invited on the Joe Rogan Experience, the popular podcast, where he discussed topics including being a Christian in Hollywood and defunding the police. He said some Hollywood liberals went too far left.

Discussing his religion, he said: “Some people in our industry, not all of them, there’s some that go to the left so far … that go to the illiberal left side so far, that is so condescending and patronizing to 50% of the world that need the empathy that the liberals have … To illegitimize them because they say they are a believer is just so arrogant, and in some ways hypocritical, to me.”

When asked about defunding the police, McConaughey gave a careful response on how he would attempt to improve relations between police and the community. “It’s almost like it should have been renamed because ‘defund’ does not sound anything like there’s been money reallocated to different areas of handling some police exercise,” he said.

“The community and the police need to get back together, and the community needs to say, ‘Here’s what’s unfair. Here’s how I feel it’s unfair as a Black man or a person of color or whatever the situation. Here’s my problem with my relationship with you as cops,” he continued.

McConaughey said his life practice was to meet in the middle and compromise, which is clear on his other political stances. “The two sides got to talk,” he said on the press tour for the film White Boy Rick. “Hey, where can we reach across the aisle here? Find a compromise for the betterment of all of us?”

The actor spoke out on the “epidemic” of gun violence in 2018, taking a different stance from his more progressive colleagues. He showed concern that the March for Our Lives, organized after the Parkland high school shooting, would be “hijacked” by some anti-gun movement, saying that the march was for “rightful, just and responsible gun ownership – but against assault rifles, against unlimited magazines and for following up on the regulations”.

Early in the pandemic, McConaughey filmed pro-mask PSAs and interviewed Dr Anthony Fauci on Instagram. In an interview with Jesse Will for Men’s Journal, he lamented how politicized mask-wearing had been by both sides of the spectrum. “It became apparent that there was no plan. Our leaders were scrambling,” he said.

In the same interview, he touched on the possible message of a hypothetical campaign – not the “Make America all right, all right, all right again” many of his fans joked about, but a more serious “meet me in the middle – I dare you”. The message follows the same philosophy as his bestselling autobiography, Greenlights: “When facing any crisis, I’ve found that a good plan is to first recognize the problem, then stabilize the situation, organize the response, then respond.”

Regardless of his political affiliation, McConaughey’s love for the Lone Star state is evident in his many philanthropic projects through his foundation, the Just Keep Livin’ Organization. When his home state was hit with a severe winter storm in February, McConaughey hosted a virtual benefit through his foundation to provide Texans with the “bare necessities”.

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