(fashion) Former Defense Secretary James Mattis says he has no plan to ever run for president because his life would no longer be his own. Campaigning and governing 'would be like a five year jail sentence,' he told a friend in a candid moment captured on camera.
Whether he wants the buzz or not, though, sales of 'Mattis 2020' t-shirts are brisk on Amazon. As of Sunday afternoon one design was the website's number-one-selling novelty tee for girls, and number-nine for boys. A CBS News interview put three versions of the shirts on TV screens Sunday.
Mattis, who now teaches at Stanford University and serves on the board of directors of defense contractor General Dynamics, took a CBS camera crew to his hometown bar in Prosser, Washington, and worked the room like a candidate.
'When you get ready to run, I'll help you,' one man is seen telling him.
'Oh, Jesus, Terry, I've got more people asking me to do it,' Mattis responds.
'You know you want to,' says the friend.
'No I don’t,' Mattis replies. 'Terry, it would be like a five year jail sentence.'
Former Defense Secretary James Mattis (center-right) told a friend named Terry (center-left) at a bar in his Washington state hometown that he has no intention of running for president despite fielding a chorus of questions about it
Mattis brought a CBS News camera crew along as he greeted people at Bern's Tavern in Presser, Washington, working the room like a candidate, but he insists he's not one
This t-shirt is selling like hotcakes on Amazon; as of Sunday afternoon it was the website's number-one-selling novelty tee for girls, and number-nine for boys
A few online retailers sell t-shirts that read 'Mattis 2020'; on Sunday after his CBS News interview, one design became Amazon's number-one-selling novelty tee for girls.
Others sell 'Mad Dog 2020' shirts, a hat-tip to his famed nickname, Mad Dog Mattis.
It's also a pun on the street name of a bargain-basement bottled wine and fruit drink, MD 20/20. The initials stand for Mogen David, but it's 'Mad Dog' to undiscriminating palates.
Mattis also on Sunday defended keeping his silence about President Trump despite his tumultuos exit, saying he 'will not speak ill' of him because he does not want to be responsible for ripping at America's social fabric.
'I will not speak ill of a sitting president. I'm not going to do it,' Mattis said.
'He's an unusual president, our president is. And I think that especially with, just the rabid nature of politics today, we gotta be careful. We could tear this country apart,' he added.
Mattis says he doesn't want the burden of being president; he's now teaching at Stanford University and serving on the board of General Dynamics, a defense contractor
Mattis said he 'will not speak ill' of Donald Trump in his first televised interview since leaving the president's administration
Mattis, who quit as Trump's first Defense secretary only for the president to later claim he fired him, is on a media tour to promote his forth coming book 'Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead.'
He was called one of the 'grown ups' in Trump's chaotic White House - part of a circle of advisers that included former White House chief of staff John Kelly.
His departure was controversial and came after policy disagreements with the president.
Mattis told CBS of his exit: 'This is how I saw the strength of America, that we keep our alliances together and we keep them tight. And if I wasn't the right person to do this, [then] the President needed someone more aligned with his views.'sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more
Mattis said he has not spoken with the president since he resigned.
The former Pentagon chief has emerged more in the public of late, after laying low following his departure from Trump's administration at the end of 2018. His book is due to hit shelves September 3.