In March, the “Dallas Buyers’ Club” and “Wolf of Wall Street” star said that the governor’s race was a “true consideration.”
“I think he would be undoubtedly formidable,” Cruz said Thursday on the “Hugh Hewitt Show.”
“I hope Matthew decides not to run. I am a big fan of Greg Abbott. He was my boss for five and a half years. He’s a close friend and mentor,” the GOP senator continued.
Abbott is up for reelection in November 2022.
“And I like Matthew personally. I know him a little bit, not well, but I’ve spent a little bit of time with him. And he’s a very charming, very affable guy,” Cruz said. “He’s a movie star, and a good-looking, charming, affable movie star can be a really formidable candidate on the ballot. And I hope that doesn’t happen, but you know what? He’s going to have to make his own decision whether he’s going to run or not.”
McConaughey has been vague about his political bent and refused to commit to one party.
In May, Politico reported that McConaughey, a famed Texas native, was quietly making calls to influential people in the state’s political and business circles to see if he would have enough legitimate backing to unseat Abbott if he were to run a race for governor.
The outlet reports that McConaughey has been in talks with “a deep-pocketed moderate Republican and energy CEO” so far.
No Democrat has won statewide office in Texas since 1998, though the party had hoped the Lonestar State might flip in the 2020 election.
However, before people start getting too excited about a “McConaughey for governor” campaign, the outlet noted that most political strategists in the state doubt the star would sacrifice his status as a Hollywood icon in favor of getting into politics.
McConaughey has previously criticized both parties and has come across as more of a moderate who condemns the entire political system as the problem rather than any one party. For example, in December he criticized what he called “illiberals” and the “extreme” right during an appearance on “Good Morning Britain.”
The star has also previously spoken out in favor of gun control, calling gun violence an “epidemic” in 2018 in a call for both sides of the issue to unite and talk out a solution.