'Dirty Jobs' Alum Mike Rowe Breaks Silence on Whether He'd Run for Political Office

Former Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe's recent appearances on television might lead some to wonder if he plans on running for political office, and one Forbes op-ed even asked him to run for California Governor in 2022. Rowe said he laughed at the idea when he first heard about it, which happened to be while he was in the bathroom. During an appearance on Fox & Friends Friday morning, he called the idea "flattering."

Rowe told PEOPLE Now he saw the Forbes op-ed while scrolling through his news feed on his phone as he was in his bathroom.

"I'm like, 'You've got to be kidding me,'" Rowe recalled. "I laughed and immediately sent it to my mom because we're pretty tight and we share these crazy things."

His mother then asked him how bad things are in California.

"I said, 'Mom, this bad,'" Rowe joked.

"I think people are starving for something that looks authentic," Rowe answered in a more serious tone. "For better or worse, politics is completely changed and we're looking for people - I guess people we can trust. Or better still, have no reason to lie to us."

Rowe stressed he is not running for anything now, but suggested that his charitable work is one reason why people think he should run for office.

The PEOPLE Now hosts asked Rowe if he ever would consider running, and he flatly replied, "No."

"Politics is binary," Rowe said. "You get in it, it's real simple. If you're for this, you're against that. When I argue a point, I try to stay in the middle and I try to use real world examples of people who have benefited from learning a skill and going to work. That's not a partisan policy issue."

Earlier this week, Forbes writer Rich Karlgaard published an op-ed titled "Mike Rowe for California Governor 2022."

"It's very flattering," Rowe told Fox & Friends Friday, and went on to suggest California is leaning too heavily on its capital gains tax revenues.

"All [capital gains] are tied to real estate and the stock market," the TV host said. "Those things are going to come down. When they come down, that money is going to dry up. I mean, manufacturing is gone, aerospace is gone, banking is gone, energy is gone. What's going to happen in a couple of years when things come back to Earth?"

Rowe also appeared on Tucker Carlson's show Wednesday, and discussed how presidential candidates try to connect with voters.

"Well, I know that every four years we'll see whoever is running attempt to prove it by sitting down — maybe it's a bar in Eerie, Pennsylvania doing shots of rye with the construction workers, or maybe it's a single mom over here in Akron," Rowe told Carlson. "You know, the candidates get elected by their ability to connect or facilitate the illusion of a connection — not to be cynical about it."


Rowe is best known for hosting and narrating shows for National Geographic, The Science Channel and Discovery Channel. His latest show is Returning The Favor, a series about people who give back to their communities that is now available on Facebook Watch.

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