Politicians embrace WWE

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October 14, 2010

STAMFORD, Conn. -- President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator John McCain, former President George W. Bush, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have embraced and lauded World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in the past. Therefore, current negative criticisms concerning WWE from some groups would seem to be inconsistent and hypocritical including the recent ad paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

In addition, other prominent Democrats such as former DNC Chairmen Howard Dean and Terry McAuliffe, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Senator John Kerry have utilized WWE as a platform to convey their messages or have supported WWE and its "Smackdown Your Vote!" initiative over the past 10 years.

In 2008, then-presidential hopefuls Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain all used WWE to get their messages to the masses.

U.S. President Barack Obama said: 
"Hey, WWE fans. I hope you are all enjoying the program tonight. You know, this is an historic time for America. It's not just that the reign of Randy Orton is coming to an end, it is at this moment in this election, we have a chance to finally end business as usual in Washington. For a long time now, we've had a politics where our leaders go after each other like they're competing to become King of the Ring instead of coming together to provide universal health care, fix our economy, solve our other problems. That's what I'm running for president to change. So to the special interests, who have been setting the agenda in Washington for too long, to all the forces of division and distraction that have stopped us from making progress; for the American people, I have one question:  ‘Do you smell what Barack is cooking'?"

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said:
"Hi, I'm Hillary Clinton, but tonight, in honor of WWE, you can call me Hill-Rod. This election is starting to feel a lot like King of the Ring. The only difference:  the last man standing may just be a woman. The truth is this election is so important. The next president will face a stack full of difficult challenges right from the opening bell:  to fix the economy, to bring our troops home from Iraq, and make college more affordable. You need a president who will go to the mat for you, and that's exactly what I'll do. I've been knocked down, but I've always gotten back up. And I know how to take a hit for the American people. And if things get a little tough, I may even have to deliver the People's Elbow because this country is worth fighting for. Now I promise to stick to the political arena. So don't worry, Randy Orton.  You're safe, for now.  When it comes to standing up for the American people, though, I am ready to rumble."

Senator John McCain said:
"How are ya, South Carolina? Finally, the Mac has come back to Greenville. Looks like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama want to settle their differences in the ring. Well, that's fine with me, but let me tell ya, if ya wanna be the man, ya have to beat the man. Come November, it'll be game over. And whatcha gonna do when John McCain and all his ‘McCainiacs' run wild on you? You want to pull out of Iraq? Well I say no surrender. America can win the war against terror. I'm gonna introduce Osama bin Laden to The Undertaker. Wanna raise taxes? Well I want a smaller government and bigger individuals. You see my friends, I believe that America is the greatest nation in the world, and Americans don't watch wrestling because we're bitter.  We watch WWE because wrestling is about celebrating our freedom. It's about fighting to be the very best. So can you smell what the Mac is cookin? Let me give you a little straight talk WWE fans. You might need a ticket to the Fatal Four next weekend, but you don't need a ticket to the cage match in November. All you have to do is get out there and vote. YOU decide the champion. YOU make the difference. And that's the bottom line, because John McCain said so."

Smackdown Your Vote!
In addition to using WWE to get their campaign messages across, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi embraced WWE and the company's encouragement to get today's youth out to vote at The Next Generation Democratic Summit in Washington D.C. on April 24, 2004. 

In her opening remarks, Speaker Pelosi stated:

"… We are going to move on to a wonderful panel in just a moment. But first I just want to tell you why this is such an important occasion for us. Why we're so delighted that WWE has lent its identification to us to attract people, perhaps across the country, certainly making it more fun for those of us in this room to come together…"

In an interview after her opening remarks with WWE Superstar Chris Nowinski and Diva Victoria who also attended the Summit, Speaker Pelosi had this to say about WWE's Smackdown Your Vote! program …

WWE:  "How is that a good thing for the WWE to bring two of its Superstars here to the Summit?"

Nancy Pelosi:  "I just think it's very exciting. Politics is exciting in itself, but if we can be part of the popular culture as well and attract young people that way, then we're very grateful to WWE for using its celebrity to help attract young people to the public policy process."

WWE:  We've also come out with our own program.  We've done a Smackdown Your Vote! program …

Nancy Pelosi:  "That is very important.  Again, WWE is so popular. It attracts young people and if it can place a value on voting and participating in the political life of our country, then we are all deeply grateful to WWE for that."

At the same Summit, WWE Diva Victoria caught up with Hillary Clinton, who had this to say about WWE's non-partisan voting initiative:

Hillary Clinton:  Thank you. I am so thrilled that all of you are here covering how important it is that we get young people involved in voting; registering and then actually getting out and voting. I love your T-shirt.

Chris Nowinski:  Well, thank you very much.

Hillary Clinton: It's terrific. Smackdown Your Vote.

Chris Nowinski:  It's for young people. You've got to get us involved.

Hillary Clinton:  Well, it's important that we get that message across because when I go to the floor of the Senate and cast a vote, I'm voting much more about your futures than mine because every single issue is about what kind of country we're going to have, what kind of world you're going to inherit. So if we can say that being young is a great time to have fun, get to know people, figure out what you're doing, but keep an eye on the future. And that means go to the trouble to get out and vote.

Diva Victoria:  Absolutely. For our kids, too.

Hillary Clinton:  Absolutely, right. How did you all get interested in doing this? 

Chris Nowinski:  I don't know. I mean, it's just something we believe in: that young people need to be represented in this government.  We've go to motivate, get 20 million votes out so that we can actually be represented. We don't have lobbyists.  We don't have people looking out for us.  We need to look out for ourselves.

Hillary Clinton:  Very well said. Congratulations.

Hillary Clinton:  Thank you all so much for being here. Excellent. Let's smackdown that vote.

This year, WWE has several initiatives for "Smackdown Your Vote!" including the "Be Awesome and Vote" campaign featuring WWE Superstar The Miz, as well as the company's continued work in partnership with the League of Women Voters, the National Association of Secretaries of State and the Harvard Institute of Politics to urge young people to vote. 

WWE appreciates all of the support both parties have provided to the company and looks forward to continuing to work with them on such an important initiative for today's youth and the country.

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