Matthew McConaughey says he’s ‘more of a folk singin’, philosopher, poet-statesman’ than a politician as he continues to flirt with run for Texas governor

Matthew McConaughey participates in a Q&A after a special screening of his new film 'The Gentlemen' at Hogg Memorial Auditorium at The University of Texas at Austin on January 21, 2020 in Austin, Texas.
Matthew McConaughey Gary Miller/Getty Images
  • Matthew McConaughey offered cryptic hints over a potential Texas gubernatorial run.
  • In an interview with the “Set It Straight: Myths and Legends” podcast, he flirted with it.
  • “I’m more of a folk singin’, philosopher, poet-statesman than I am a per se definitive politician,” he said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Amid ongoing speculation over whether he’ll jump into the 2022 Texas governor’s race, Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey added fuel to the fire in the form of cryptic vibes.

In quintessential McConaughey fashion, the actor and Texas native explored whether he’s meant to be a politician in an interview on the “Set it Straight: Myths and Legends” podcast.

Politics didn’t come up until the very end, with most of the show dedicated to how the actor got his big break in “Dazed and Confused,” Richard Linklater’s 1993 cult classic. The hosts, members of the Grammy-nominated Midland band, were particularly interested in how McConaughey developed his personal philosophy for his memoir “Greenlights.”

One of the hosts told McConaughey that he would have his endorsement if he ran for public office, and McConaughey dove into his political musings.

“Let me ask you, in your opinion, do you think public office is the category where I could most be useful in that way?” McConaughey said.

He said he’s “measuring it” when it comes to a run for office, and that politics will likely play a role in his life “in some capacity” because of how important public policy is to people’s everyday lives.

“It’s just, I’m more of a folk singin’, philosopher, poet-statesman than I am a per-se definitive politician,” McConaughey said later on. “So I go, ‘Well that’s a reason not to,’ but then I go, ‘Oh, well that’s exactly why you should. Because politics needs redefinition.'”

A recent Dallas Morning News poll showed McConaughey beating Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, with the performer earning particularly high marks from Democrats.

Abbott recently signed into law a so-called heartbeat ban on abortions that the Supreme Court decided not to block and has deployed what he called a “steel wall” of state-owned vehicles to try to deter thousands of Haitian migrants from entering the US. Abbott’s approval rating is down to just 45% in the longtime GOP stronghold, with 54% of respondents saying they believe the Lone Star State is on the wrong track.

As the Houston Chronicle has reported, the actor has yet to take any significant steps toward a bid since speculation began to ramp up back in April.

The hosts were nonetheless full of praise for the movie star, with the conversation going between playful banter and more meditations on the meaning of life.

“I could fill a filibuster,” McConaughey quipped at another point when a host said McConaughey’s leadership qualities would outweigh whatever his political views are in getting the host’s vote.

“I’m measuring what is my category, what is my embassy, because I have to remain a storyteller,” McConaughey said. “I’ve been given that gift. I love doing it, I have to remain an artist … Now, if [politics is] the category to be able to do that in – which would be different than some people have done it up to now – maybe it’s for me, but maybe it’s also in a whole new category I’ll just create.”