Matthew McConaughey Receives Political Advice From Former President George W. Bush Amid Talk of Texas Governor Run

by Suzanne Halliburton

Matthew McConaughey is flirting with the idea of running for Governor of Texas. And on Thursday, the president and fellow Texan gave the actor some unsolicited advice.

And, by the way, George W. Bush also was Texas governor. He knows the Lone Star political landscape.

Bush said McConaughey, if he’s serious about running, should avoid being sucked in by critics. Bush, or “W” as he’s known to fellow Texans, made the comments while being interviewed by radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt.

“I met him one time,” Bush said. “I’ll tell you one thing: He’s charismatic. Now whether or not he can put up with all the noise, all the rubber chicken circus, you know all the stuff that goes on.

“The criticism can be pretty harsh, Hugh,” Bush said. “And the question would be does he have a set of principles firm enough to not worry about what the critics say?”

George W. Bush also appeared earlier Thursday on the Today show. Jenna Bush Hager, his daughter, interviewed him. Bush Hager also brought up McConaughey to her dad, asking him if the actor stood a chance.

“I have no idea,” Bush said of McConaughey. “I tell you this: It’s a tough business.”

George W Bush Knows Texas and Whether Matthew McConaughey Would Stand a Chance

George W. Bush used being Texas governor as a springboard for presidency. He beat Al Gore in November, 2000 and served two terms. Conversely, McConaughey would use his movie and TV career to launch himself into politics. There are no politicians in Texas who have an Oscar.

McConaughey has yet to declare whether he’s a Democrat or Republican. However, in interviews, McConaughey appears to be working towards the middle. He told Fox News he was “aggressively centric,” and wouldn’t reveal if he voted for Joe Biden or Donald Trump.

McConaughey definitely is exploring the idea of running. He and his family live in Austin, the state capital. McConaughey also works as a professor for the University of Texas, teaching in the school of communication. He’s kept his name in the news as he promotes his new book, Greenlights. As a rule of thumb, when a politician is thinking of higher office, he or she first writes a book.

“I’m looking into now again, What is my leadership role?” McConaughey said last month during an episode of the Balanced Voice podcast. “Because I do think I have some things to teach and share. What is my role, what is my category in my next chapter of life that I’m going into now?”

People of Texas are liking the idea of Matthew McConaughey running for governor. A poll conducted earlier this month by the Dallas Morning News showed McConaughey with a lead over current Governor Greg Abbott. In the poll, 45 percent of registered voters said they’d support McConaughey. Abbott’s support registered 33.

Of course, the election isn’t until 2022. Abbott is a Republican. The primaries are almost a year away.

George W. Bush said he gave similar advice to former baseball star Nolan Ryan, another Texan. Ryan wanted to run for the state’s agriculture commissioner.

“I said, ‘Nolan, do you like it when the sports columnists criticize you?’ ” Bush said.

“He said, ‘I don’t like it,’ ” Bush continued.

“I said, ‘Well then you’re not going to like running for agricultural commissioner.’ “