In response to widespread criticism from Democrats who blasted Connecticut Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) program content that she oversaw as the company’s CEO, Republican groups pointed to the time when then-Democratic Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton appeared on a WWE show to promote their presidential campaigns in 2008.
Democratic organizations took a hard line against the company Tuesday night after McMahon beat out former Congressman Rob Simmons in the state Republican primary, accusing her of many things, including profiting from peddling violence to children. But in April 2008, both Democratic presidential candidates joined Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain on “WWE RAW“, the company’s flagship program, to deliver short wrestling-themed campaign spots.
“Hey WWE fans, I hope you’re all enjoying the program tonight,” Obama said to wrestling fans two years ago. “For a long time now we’ve had a politics where our leaders go after each other like they’re competing to become King of the Ring instead of coming together to provide universal health care, fix our economy and solve our other problems. That’s what I’m running for president to change.”
“Do you smell what Barack is cooking?” Obama added, a reference to the famous catchphrase of former WWE personality “The Rock,” played by actor Dwayne Johnson.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared as well, offering a similar message.
“Hi. I’m Hillary Clinton. Tonight in honor of the WWE, you can call me Hill-Rod,” she said. “This election is starting to feel a lot like King of the Ring. The only difference: The last man standing may just be a woman.”