Matthew McConaughey Hints at 'Centrist' Texas Governor Bid

Matthew McConaughey has hinted that he'd be running on a "centrist" platform, should he follow through on plans to make a bid for governor of Texas.

The actor, 51, has in recent months hinted that he's mulling a run for office in his home state during the 2022 gubernatorial elections, which would see him take on two-term incumbent Greg Abbott.

While he has yet to officially throw his hat into the ring, McConaughey has also shied away from stating if he would potentially run as a Democrat, Republican or Independent candidate.

And in a new interview on the Commune podcast with Jeff Krasno, the star appeared to be embracing a "centrist" platform as he spoke about the divisive state of politics.

"We're all much more centrist than we're led to believe we are," McConaughey said. "We have the numbers... We're running the ship. Now, there's a couple of militia pirate groups that are coming over on the far right and the far left and we're being told that they're the absolute boogeyman and we better be scared... Let's kick 'em off the boat. Don't let 'em board."

When asked by Krasno if he thought he was somebody who could unite the people of the U.S. at a time when political divisions run deep, he said: "I don't think it's a policy that changes us. I truly believe in the capacity that each one of us individually have to be more responsible for ourselves. I understand why we don't sometimes. I understand why I don't sometimes—the sacrifices that can take..."

He then went on to urge others to consider the "bigger, shinier proverbial pot of gold that we get with some understanding of delayed gratification—for ourselves selfishly, and for others at the same time. There's so much more that unites us."

"Our trust meter... is at an all-time low in America," McConaughey added. "We don't trust each other... We've become so individualistic we've bastardized the idea of American individualism, because it still is the United States of America. When we talk about the United States, land of the free and opportunity, I think that right now is a hyperbolic sort of one-liner."

Matthew McConaughey hints at Texas governor run
Matthew McConaughey attends the 2019 Texas Medal Of Arts Awards at the Long Center for the Performing Arts on February 27, 2019 in Austin, Texas. He has hinted that he may run as a "centrist" if he makes a bid for Texas governor next year. Rick Kern/WireImage

"Everyone's been in a family," he said. "There's rules in a family, there's things we've got to follow in a family. Can you just go rogue in your own family? No. You've got different chores you've got to do, you've got different things you've got to do, you've got to listen to mom and dad, you've got take care of your brothers.

"You don't have to get along all the time. But we've all got responsibilities within this family... We have trouble seeing outside our our immediate demography and geography."

McConaughey also discussed the core values that each side of the political aisle is seen to be aligned with.

"Values are really what break down the walls, because each camp—the right and the left—are claiming to have license to certain values, to have trademarks on certain values. The left has a belief they have a trademark on intellectualism. The left believes they have a trademark on rehabilitation. The left believes they have a trademark on science.

"The right believes they have a trademark on work ethic, self reliance. If the left has rehabilitation, the right believes they have a trademark on consequences. The left believes they have a trademark on science, the right believes they have a trademark on faith.

Greg Abbott and former President Donald Trump
Texas Governor Greg Abbott and former President Donald Trump shake hands during a border security briefing on June 30, 2021 in Weslaco, Texas. Abbott currently holds a razor-thin lead over McConaughey in a new poll. Brandon Bell/Getty Images

"They don't own these things! Those things are not contradictions... There's not an umbrella big enough to own these things. These are paradoxes. It's a human right to each one of these values. It's not a political if/or situation."

A poll, released by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler on Sunday, has found that 39 percent of registered voters in Texas support Abbott, while 38 percent favor McConaughey in a hypothetical election match-up.

Abbott's minimal lead over McConaughey shows a significant rebound for the two-term Republican governor, after the actor led him by 45 percent to 33 percent in a similar poll taken in April.

Dallas Buyers Club star McConaughey has strong support among Texas Democrats in the latest poll, with 56 percent saying that would support him over Abbott, who was favored by 15 percent of those aligned with the same party.

Texas Independents also favored McConaughey, with 39 percent saying they would back him for office, while 29 percent said they would vote for Abbott.

However, McConaughey trails Abbott considerably among Texas Republicans, with 69 percent of those polled favoring the incumbent, while 22 percent support the star. In April, Abbott had a notably smaller lead of 26 percentage points.

Texas native Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey speaks onstage during HISTORYTalks Leadership & Legacy presented by HISTORY at Carnegie Hall on February 29, 2020 in New York City. Noam Galai/Getty Images for HISTORY