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Ted Cruz says actor Matthew McConaughey would be a 'formidable' candidate for governor

Sen. Ted Cruz is feeling the heat from multi-hyphenated talent Matthew McConaughey's rumored run for governor in 2022, saying the actor would pose a "formidable" challenge.


In a Thursday interview on "The Hugh Hewitt Show," Cruz was very complimentary of the Austin-based "Dazed and Confused" actor. Cruz said he likes McConaughey on a personal level, which is what makes him a threat.

"I know him a little bit, not well, but I've spent a little bit of time with him," Cruz said. "He's a movie star, and a good-looking, charming, affable movie star can be a really formidable candidate on the ballot."

Reports that McConaughey has been mulling a run for governor started circulating in November last year, though he has yet to make an announcement of such plans. The Minister of Culture's publicly-facing political views are vague, though he has said he is "aggressively centrist."

If he decides to run, McConaughey would be up against incumbent Greg Abbott and possibly Democrat Beto O'Rourke, who ran against Cruz for U.S. Senator in 2017. O'Rourke was ultimately defeated but made for the closest senate race in Texas since 1978.

Cruz, who worked under Abbott for over five years, said he is a "big fan" of the incumbent and hopes to see him succeed.

"I am a big fan of Greg Abbott. He's a close friend and mentor," Cruz said. "I think (McConaughey) would undoubtedly be formidable. I hope that doesn't happen, but you know what? He's going to have to make his own decision whether he's going to run or not."

An April poll by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas showed that 45% of registered Texans would support McConaughey over Abbott, who 33% support. Over the past year, Abbott's approval rating dropped from 56% to 45%.

McConaughey himself sat down on the Hugh Hewitt Show last November when Hewitt first asked him about a possible run.

"That wouldn't be up to me. It would be up to the people more than it would me," McConaughey said on the show. "Look, politics seems to be a broken business to me right now and when politics redefines its purpose, I could be a hell of a lot more interested."

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