Johnson calls Christie ‘a buddy’ despite video

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dwayne Johnson says he considers New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie “a buddy” despite making Christie take down an online video that featured the Hollywood star.

“I know Gov. Christie. We’ve met a couple of times,” the wrestler-turned-action star said in an interview Friday while promoting his new “Hercules” movie. “But in no way was I associated with what he had going on. . He had his team of people around him who kind of put that together. I saw it. I was like well, I don’t have anything to do with it, so now you’ve got to pull it down.”

Christie’s office last week removed Johnson from a trailer that it posted to YouTube for a mock summer blockbuster titled “No Pain. No Gain,” a riff on the title of Johnson’s film “Pain & Gain.”

The trailer features clips of Christie warning of an impending budget crisis, along with dramatic music and sound effects. The clip is cut together with scenes of explosions and car chase.

Johnson, 42, spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2000 but says he’s “more patriotic than I am political.”

“I have good friends who are politicians on both sides,” he said in the interview. “Clinton is a good buddy of mine, Obama is a good buddy of mine. A multitude of people who are buddies.”

As for whether he some day could follow in the path of past actors-turned-politicians like Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Johnson says: “You never say never. I’ve learned never to say never.”

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