At Ventura’s instigation, Hinkle said he spoke two weeks ago with the former Minnesota governor and pro wrestler, who was elected in 1998 on the Reform Party line, about running for president but came away with the impression that Ventura is looking beyond 2012.

“Jesse is more interested in 2016 than he is in 2012,” Hinkle said. “But I think he’s serious. If Ron Paul ran as a Libertarian, I think he definitely would be interested in running as a vice presidential candidate. He’s thinking, ‘If I run as the vice presidential candidate under Ron Paul in 2012, I could run as a presidential candidate in 2016.”

Ventura could not be reached for comment.