On Larry King Live Jesse Ventura takes on the Bush administration chickenhawks and Rush Limbaugh, and defends Colin Powell. After being waterboarded himself in the SERE program, Ventura makes no bones about it. Waterboarding is torture. I'd like to see Hannity have Ventura on his show to debate the issue.
King's reaction to Ventura's straight talk on how terrible of a President W was is amusing. He's shocked...just shocked I tell you, that anyone would talk so badly about our former President.
KING: Joining us now, Jesse Ventura, former wrestler, former governor of Minnesota, former Navy SEAL, the author of "Don't Start The Revolution Without Me." That book is now out in paper back. Welcome to have you back, Jesse. There you see the cover of the book. How's Obama doing?
JESSE VENTURA, FMR. GOV. OF MINNESOTA: Too early to tell, Larry, really. In my opinion, George Bush is the worst president in my lifetime.
KING: Have an opinion, will you?
VENTURA: I will. I will. And he's the worst president in my lifetime. So Barack Obama, President Obama inherited something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. You know? Two wars, an economy that's borderline depression. So it's far too early to judge him 100 days in. I think if you have me back about two years from now, I can give you a much better of how he's doing.
KING: He poked fun at himself at the White House correspondents' dinner Saturday night. Let's watch.
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BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Finally, I believe that my next 100 days will be so successful I'll be able to complete them in 72 days. And on the 73rd day, I will rest.
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KING: He's very likable.
VENTURA: Oh, yes.
VENTURA: Very intelligent, which is a change from our previous president.
KING: All right already with Bush.
VENTURA: No, I live in Mexico now, Larry. So I do a lot of reading. I don't watch much TV. This year's reading, I covered Bush's life. I covered Guantanamo and a few other subjects. And I'm very disturbed about it.
I'm bothered over Guantanamo because it seems we have created our own Hanoi Hilton. We can live with that? I have a problem. I will criticize President Obama on this level; it's a good thing I'm not president because I would prosecute every person that was involved in that torture. I would prosecute the people that did it. I would prosecute the people that ordered it. Because torture is against the law. KING: You were a Navy SEAL.
VENTURA: That's right. I was water boarded, so I know -- at SERE School, Survival Escape Resistance Evasion. It was a required school you had to go to prior to going into the combat zone, which in my era was Vietnam. All of us had to go there. We were all, in essence -- every one of us was water boarded. It is torture.
KING: What was it like?
VENTURA: It's drowning. It gives you the complete sensation that you are drowning. It is no good, because you -- I'll put it to you this way, you give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.
KING: Even though you know it's not going to happen -- even though before it, you know you're not going to drown.
VENTURA: You don't know it. If it's -- if it's done wrong, you certainly could drown. You could swallow your tongue. You could do a whole bunch of stuff. If it's it done wrong or -- it's torture, Larry. It's torture.
KING: A lot of things to go into, Jesse. What do you make of the Cheney/Limbaugh --
VENTURA: I don't have a lot of respect for Dick Cheney. Here's a guy who got five deferments from the Vietnam War. Clearly, he's a coward. He wouldn't go when it was his time to go. And now he is a chicken hawk. Now he is this big tough guy who wants this hardcore policy. And he's the guy that sanctioned all this torture by calling it enhanced interrogation.
KING: Do you think Rush Limbaugh's a better Republican than Colin Powell?
VENTURA: No, not at all. In fact, if you compare the two, let's look at Colin Powell, who's a war hero, who strapped it on for his country, and didn't run and hide.
VENTURA: And then you look at Dick Cheney who ran and hid. I have no respect for Dick Cheney. I have tremendous respect for General Powell.