Donald Trump said Friday there is a "very good possibility" he will announce a $100 million campaign for the White House next month. Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura said, with Trump at his side, that he would consider endorsing him for the Reform Party nomination.
Announcing support for Trump now would "put the cart before the horse," Ventura said.
"Certainly, if he announces that he will be a candidate he will certainly get my full consideration," said Ventura, the Reform Party's highest-ranking public official.
Former Republican Pat Buchanan is seeking the party's nomination but has gotten a cold shoulder from Ventura.
Trump said he wanted Ventura's backing.
"If I do decide to do this, which I very well might, Jesse's support would be very important in many ways," Trump said.
In a brief interview with The Associated Press, Trump said only "death" would stop him from running.
"There is a real chance that I will run," Trump told reporters aboard his private plane, a Boeing 727 emblazoned with his name in gold leaf, on the way to Minnesota.
At a speech to the Metro North Chamber of Commerce, Trump said, "Maybe it's like you found out in Minnesota, it's time for straight talk and a little common sense."
At their joint appearance, both Trump and Ventura said they were disappointed with the decision of the Commission on Presidential Debates on Thursday to only allow candidates with 15 percent in national polls to participate.
Ventura, whose participation in debates during the 1998 campaign was vital to his eventual election, said of the decision: "I think it is despicable. I think it is a clear case of them fearing there could be another Jesse Ventura."
Trump spoke to about 500 people before the news conference with Ventura in this Minneapolis suburb where Ventura once served as mayor. The two released a written statement saying they planned to ask the Federal Election Commission to rule on a previously submitted petition that the FEC set guidelines for participation in the fall debates.
A Trump-Ventura alliance, reports CBS News Correspondent Jacqueline Adams, could well decide the future of the Reform Party, as well as the outcome of this year's presidential race.
Analysts say that in a close election, the major parties would be wise to worry. Trump would draw younger voters, Hispanic and African-American voters - the very people who turned out this week to see Trump launch his latest book outlining his political philosophy.
Former Republican Pat Buchanan is also seeking the party's nomination but has gotten a cold shoulder from Ventura.
In New York City, Buchanan joked about the Trump-Ventura meeting.
"My guess is my name will come up in the conversation," he said, laughing. "I know that Governor Ventura's been very critical of me or positions I've taken, as has the other entleman, but I do think that the Reform Party has got to bring together folks who have disagreed in the past on a variety of positions if we're going to have any chance of taking over the White House."
Buchanan said Ventura appeared to be leaning toward supporting Trump. "He's certainly not leaning toward me," he joked.
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