JBL Comments On ’08 Election, Tribute To The Troops

Ryan Clark

The Baltimore Sun is featuring a Q&A interview with WWE’s John Bradshaw Layfield where he talks about the annual WWE Tribute to the Troops, how the idea came out, who he is backing in the upcoming presidential race and more.

On the “Tribute to the Troops” idea:

“I was over there one summer right after the invasion of Iraq. It was a miserably hot summer, as all of them are over there. It was 137 degrees one day. I was sitting there talking to Ron Simmons and I thought, â<80><9c>This would be great if we could come over here at Christmas and do something like the Bob Hope-type USO Christmas Special. So when we got back, I approached Mr. [Vince] McMahon and [WWE executive producer] Kevin Dunn and told them what I thought would be a good idea and what I thought we could do, and they took it from there. Within a few weeks, the thing was done and weâ<80><99>ve been going over there ever since. This is our fifth year to be going over there.”

On the dangers of being in Iraq:

“We were landing in Tarmiya, and we didnâ<80><99>t know it was a hot zone we were landing in. We thought we were landing in a secured base and we werenâ<80><99>t. We were landing in an unsecured area and actually had to get through town to get to where the small secured area was. When we landed, there were Iraqis everywhere â<80>” on rooftops all around us. It just looked like something out of Apocalypse Now. As we looked at this, weâ<80><99>re realizing that weâ<80><99>re landing in a hot zone. And we get off the chopper and theyâ<80><99>re telling us to â<80><9c>get in single file, move along, hurry, keep your head down,â<80> and bombs are going off everywhere. As weâ<80><99>re running through all this, weâ<80><99>ve got to run through a barbed wire maze to get into the little secured area that they have inside of a building. Ron Simmons turns around to me in that James Earl Jones voice and says, â<80><9c>You know, Iâ<80><99>d have mailed them an autograph.â<80> That alleviated the moment.”

On his interest in politics:

“I look at these politicians now, and Iâ<80><99>ll tell you what, if Bush and Kerry are the two best politicians we have to run for president, weâ<80><99>re screwed. I just donâ<80><99>t think our best are in politics. I think these guys are inept. I think theyâ<80><99>re wasting our money, theyâ<80><99>re wasting our time, and Iâ<80><99>m not sure I would be any different to be a part of that. Not that I would have the agenda these guys have, which is basically that they donâ<80><99>t want to work for a living, but I just donâ<80><99>t think I can make a difference. I think Iâ<80><99>m better served being in the free markets, because I believe the free markets will get us off foreign oil, the free markets will encourage trade. I just have a very dim view of politicians in general.”

On who he likes in the 2008 presidential race:

“I like Bill Richardson on the Democratic side, and if I had to choose, I think I like John McCain on the Republican side.”

To check out the full interview, which was conducted before JBL announced he would be coming out of retirement to join Raw, go to weblogs.baltimoresun.com.

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