SBA chief Linda McMahon talks wrestling, touts tax plan in Phoenix

Linda McMahon, the co-founder of wrestling entertainment company WWE Inc. and President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Small Business Administration, was in Phoenix on Thursday on her tour of all 68 SBA district offices.She used the occasion to promote the Republican tax overhaul now under consideration by Congress and to talk about her work with the SBA, which was created by Congress to assist small-business owners.WWE is an international company that produces live events, licenses a plethora of merchandise and has its own network. McMahon stepped down from the business in 2009 before launching two bids for Congress in her home state of Connecticut.Her husband, Vince McMahon, remains as CEO of the company and their daughter Stephanie McMahon works as chief brand officer. Stephanie's husband, Paul Levesque, is an executive vice president with the company and performed as wrestler "Triple H." The elder McMahons also have a son, Shane, who has been involved in various aspects of the family business.McMahon talked about taxes and a little about wrestling on Thursday.She said small-business owners would see lower tax bills under the plan in Congress and that they could reinvest those savings into their operations."I haven't talked to one who didn't tell me they would reinvest those savings," she said. "What you will find so often is they care so much for their employees. They would rather pay them more money and keep them."She acknowledged differences in the House and Senate plans but said that compromise would make a better deal."The process is correct that we are going through right now," she said, adding that as a CEO, she found the only deals that last to be those where all sides worked out a compromise.The following is a portion of her interview, edited for space and clarity. Have you learned anything surprising about the SBA since your appointment? "I believe SBA is the best-kept secret in the entire country. One of the things I found out Continue Reading

WWE star Triple H spotted at Senate hearing supporting mother-in-law Linda McMahon

Trump’s pick to head Small Business Administration Linda McMahon had some superstar support during Tuesday’s Senate confirmation hearing. McMahon’s daughter, WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie was spotted in the first row alongside wrestling hubby Paul Levesque — AKA Triple H — during the meeting. That’s right, the same Triple H who once told people to “suck it” on TV and carried around a sledgehammer threatening to maim opponents. The grappler was there showing support for Linda McMahon, Trump’s latest appointment since taking office. The former wrestling magnate turned politician introduced her power couple family after the hearing began, and Senator Cory Booker joked to Triple H that his wife could give him “a mean hiptoss” while adding that he looked a bit out-of-shape. Booker also suggested Triple H meet him out at the Senate gym for a quick match following the meeting. McMahon first grew in partnership with Trump back when the two worked together on WWE, a network that also grew from a small company to one of the largest acquisitions in sports history. Continue Reading

SEE IT: Congressman asks Linda McMahon during hearing why WWE star John Cena took so long to propose to Nikki Bella

Congressmania! With all the issues swirling around in the world of politics, one congressman’s biggest issue is John Cena dragging his feet. Republican congressman Rod Blum from Iowa was questioning new Administrator of the Small Business Administration Linda McMahon during a congressional hearing. Blum saved his hardest-hitting question for last, asking why it took John Cena until Wrestlemania to pop the big question to his girlfriend Nikki Bella. “And now I only have 45 seconds left. I want to address the 800-pound gorilla in the room that no one has asked you so far, but I will,” Blum stated. “Why did it take John Cena so long to propose marriage to Nikki Bella? And remember, you're under oath.” McMahon laughed at the question and gave a very simple answer. “You’ll have to ask him,” McMahon said. Cena and Bella had dated for over four years before he asked her to marry her after his Wrestlemania 33 match. The couple won a tag team matchup against The Miz and Maryse on the grandest stage of them all this year. After, Cena dropped to a knee, popped the question and Bella said yes. McMahon hasn’t been as involved with WWE since taking the job as administrator of the small business administration. She was confirmed by the Senate on Feb. 14 with a vote of 81-19. Continue Reading

Linda McMahon, former wrestling executive, defeats Christopher Shays in Connecticut Senate GOP primary

HARTFORD, Conn. - For the second time in two years, former wrestling executive Linda McMahon will be going up against a well-known Democrat in a race for an open U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut. AP Images Linda McMahon addresses supporters as her mother Evelyn Carson (left) looks on. Murphy, a Democrat who represents the 5th Congressional District, defeated former secretary of the state Susan Bysiewicz. He made clear he is ready for a bruising fight, saying McMahon "has spent every ounce of her being fighting for profits at the expense of her workers and at the expense of Connecticut jobs." AP Images Christopher Shays is hugged by his daughter Jeramy Shays after giving concession speech. On the Republican side, state Sen. Andrew Roraback won a four-way primary in the 5th District, which covers a largely bipartisan district in northwestern Connecticut. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Trump picks WWE co-founder Linda McMahon for Small Business Administration

President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday he will nominate Linda McMahon — co-founder of the WWE pro wrestling empire — to be the leader of his Small Business Administration."My America First agenda is going to bring back our jobs and roll back the burdensome regulations that are hurting our middle class workers and small businesses," Trump said in announcing McMahon's nomination.Touting her experience in the pro wrestling business, Trump said that McMahon "helped grow WWE from a modest 13-person operation to a publicly traded global enterprise with more than 800 employees in offices worldwide. Linda is going to be a phenomenal leader and champion for small businesses and unleash America's entrepreneurial spirit all across the country."Accepting the nomination, McMahon said that "small businesses are the largest source of job creation in our country,” and "I am honored to join the incredibly impressive economic team that President-elect Trump has assembled to ensure that we promote our country’s small businesses and help them grow and thrive.”McMahon, who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate from Connecticut in 2010 and 2012, was an early supporter of Trump's presidential bid. She founded the WWE with her husband, Vince McMahon, to whom she's been married for 50 years.McMahon has emerged as a big financial benefactor of Republicans in recent elections, including Trump. She donated a total of $6 million to a pro-Trump super PAC, Federal Election Commission records show.Trump has appeared on wrestling shows and is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame. Continue Reading

Linda McMahon loses her wrestle for power with Dems’ Richard Blumenthal

The Senate smackdown in Connecticut ended with pro wrestling magnate Linda McMahon pinned to the canvas - and Democrats strutting around the ring. Democratic Attorney General Richard Blumenthal was leading the Republican McMahon in early returns, prompting The Associated Press to call the race. "History's being made today," Blumenthal, 64, told the Connecticut Post as he campaigned frantically across the state. "I'm making no predictions. I'm working like I'm 10 points behind." Their vicious battle was marked by mudslinging over Blumenthal's military record and McMahon's role at World Wrestling Entertainment - and inflamed by the $50 million McMahon pumped into the race. Blumenthal has long been considered a rising star in Connecticut politics, and he led McMahon by 41 points in one January poll. He ran into trouble, however, amid revelations that he regularly overstated his Vietnam-era military experience - allegations that dragged his lead down to single digits. Democrats rallied behind Blumenthal with appearances by President Obama and former President Bill Clinton, and poured money into an ad campaign blasting McMahon's wrestling past. They said WWE's raunchy story lines and disturbing health problems among wrestlers cut into her claims that her business experience qualified her for the Senate. "I feel good about the race," McMahon, 62, told the Connecticut Post along the trail. "Our country really is making some big decisions today and voting for the kind of change we need." The victory lets Democrats succeed retiring Sen. Chris Dodd with one of their own, even in a year when voter anger threatened to flip the House and Senate to Republicans. With News Wire Services   Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Holiday wishes for John Cena, Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, Linda McMahon and other wrestling stars

After an exhaustive study of wind velocity, temperature variations, cloud accumulations and reindeer behavior, we say Santa's ETA will be in the next 12-16 hours. So let's have some fun figuring out what some folks would wish for under their tree. Aunts Thelma and Louise: John Cena. John Cena: Anyone but my aunts. Hulk Hogan: With his second marriage, a new version of "Hogan Knows Best." The Big Show: A part in the rumored remake of "King Kong" - playing the Empire State Building. Vince McMahon: Producing "Harry Potter and the WWE." Linda McMahon: An invite to form the most dynamic political team ever - VP to Sarah Palin for 2012 presidential race. Tazz: Playing himself in a "Bugs Bunny" film. Dudley Boyz: A gift certificate to Home Depot for tables. Rey Mysterio: My old mask. Shawn Michaels, Wade Barrett and Kane to remake "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." Dixie Carter: Appearing on "Dancing with the Stars." Ric Flair: Dixie's partner. Kevin Nash: A map showing the Fountain of Youth. Mark Henry: A daily delivery of Papa John's. Sting: A WWE contract. Starring roles for Steve Austin, the Rock, the Undertaker, Triple H, Randy Orton, the Miz and Edge in a remake of "The Magnificent Seven." Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle, Tommy Dreamer and Mick Foley redo "The Wild Bunch." Tying the rope And speaking of "TLC," Edge won the world title for the 10th time. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Wrestling pioneer Linda McMahon body slams foes to win Connecticut GOP Senate primary

WASHINGTON - Rookie pol and pro-wrestling tycoon Linda McMahon body-slammed two rivals Tuesday night to coast to an easy victory in Connecticut's GOP Senate primary. The founding partner of the WWE wrestling league was declared the winner, garnering an insurmountable 49% of the vote with more than half the precincts reporting. Former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons had 29%, and financial commentator Peter Schiff followed with 22%. A one-time front-runner, Simmons couldn't keep up with McMahon's television ad buys - she pumped some $50 million of her own money into the race - and last spring shelved his bid to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Chris Dodd. McMahon also tapped into the conservative anti-government Tea Party movement to help her gain traction and catapult her to the top of the polls. Schiff trailed McMahon and Simmons during nearly the entire campaign. The winner takes on state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who was unopposed in the Democratic Senate primary. In Colorado, Sen. Michael Bennet defeated former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff in the Colorado Democratic Senate primary, which had become a proxy war between President Obama and ex-President Bill Clinton, who backed opposing candidates. Obama was behind Bennet, appointed last year when Ken Salazar resigned to become Obama's interior secretary. Clinton endorsed Romanoff, who backed Hillary Clinton in her 2008 presidential bid. There was another behind-the-scenes battle in Georgia, where former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin endorsed ex-Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel for governor. Late last night the race between Handel and ex-Rep. Nathan Deal for the GOP nomination was too close to call, with both candidates claiming 50% of the vote. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Linda McMahon, Richard Blumenthal locked in no-holds barred grudge match in Connecticut

HARTFORD - The battle for a high-profile U.S. Senate seat was never a lovefest, but with each passing day it's turning into a no-holds-barred steel-cage smackdown. Former World Wrestling Entertainment Chief Executive Linda McMahon - wife of wrestling icon Vince McMahon - is battling longtime Democratic Attorney General Richard Blumenthal to succeed retiring Sen. Christopher Dodd. "It's unusually negative for Connecticut," said Quinnipiac University pollster Douglas Schwartz. "She has been saturating the airwaves and hammering Blumenthal." McMahon has spent more than $20 million of her wrestling-generated fortune on the race and launched a barrage of attack ads, including one slamming Blumenthal for falsely claiming he served in Vietnam. "If he lied about Vietnam, what else is he lying about?" the announcer asks. Blumenthal had told audiences he served in Vietnam when he was actually a Marine reservist who never went overseas. He has scrambled and apologized for what he termed misstatements. For his part, Blumenthal has been hammering McMahon over wrestling's depiction of women and steroid use by some high-profile grapplers. "They are really just tearing each other apart," said 54-year-old Democrat Linda Scott of Hartford. Scott, who was laid off from her insurance company job in 2007 and has since worked a succession of temp jobs, said both candidates need to talk more about fixing the economy. "It is all negative," echoed Republican Sal Zappulla, 46, also of Hartford. "They are not talking about what they are going to do when they get in there." The ad blitz helped McMahon transform what was once considered a laugher for Blumenthal into a race that was as close as three points in a September poll. A Quinnipiac poll on Thursday showed Blumenthal with an 11-point lead and voters - especially independents and women - showing signs of what Schwartz calls "McMahon fatigue." Blumenthal's campaign recently went on the offensive, portraying McMahon Continue Reading

Linda McMahon resigns as WWE chief executive to run for Connecticut Senate against Dodd

STAMFORD, Conn. — World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. said Wednesday that Linda McMahon has resigned as the company's chief executive to seek the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Connecticut Democrat Christopher Dodd.McMahon's husband, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, will assume her duties as CEO, the company said in a statement.Linda McMahon, 60, formally announced her candidacy Wednesday morning. She said Washington is "out of control" and Dodd has "lost his way and our trust."McMahon is up against three other Republicans — former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, state Sen. Sam Caligiuri and former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley.Dodd plans to run for a sixth term next year.Linda and Vince McMahon, a professional wrestler, announcer and promoter, co-founded WWE together. Linda McMahon has served as CEO since May 1997 and served as the company's president from May 1993 through June 2000. Vince McMahon has been chairman since 1980. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading