This year’s Republican Party platform included some unusually harsh anti-porn language. While previous platforms had only gone so far as to condemn child pornography, this year the RNC held that “current laws on all forms of pornography and obscenity need to be vigorously enforced.” Though many in the adult film industry attacked the GOP for its stance, at least one Republican porn star—32-year old Mary Carey, who ran for governor of California in 2002—isn’t yet ready to give up on her party. (Jenna Jameson, who has endorsed Mitt Romney, did not respond to interview requests.)
TNR: What are you up to these days?
MC: I was just in Vegas for the Exotic Dancer Convention (Annual Gentlemen’s Club Owners EXPO) hosting parties, kissing babies. I’m actually working on an autobiography these days. It’s a memoir with a lot of salacious stories in there. I don’t currently do adult movies. (She won’t rule out a comeback.) I’m just trying to do other things. Radio, independent movies.
TNR: Did you watch any of the Republican National Convention?
MC: This week I didn’t get to see as much stuff because I was at my convention. You know who really impressed me when he spoke? Marco Rubio. I wish he was actually the vice-presidential candidate. I felt bad for—who was the one with the lipstick on her teeth? (ed: Condoleezza Rice) I can’t believe that nobody told her right before she went to speak.
TNR: When did you become a Republican?
MC: The big thing I always heard among pornographers was: “Don’t support Republicans, they try to crack down on porn.” But in 2005, I went to the National Republican Congressional Committee dinner. The idea was that by going, we’d get a lot of press out of it, about how Bush is anti-porn, yet, here’s a porn star going to NRCC. It was the first time I hung out with a bunch of Republicans, and I got hit on more than I was at the AVN (Adult Video News) Awards in Las Vegas. Somebody asked me to have a threesome with his wife after dinner.
TNR: But what exactly made you go GOP-mad that night?
MC: I actually kind of liked Bush. I thought he was so charismatic on stage. After that, I went on all the news shows, and said, ‘I’ve decided I’m a Republican.’ I’m socially liberal, fiscally conservative. I’m a Schwarzenegger Republican.
TNR: How do you reconcile that with Republican Party’s increasingly severe stance towards pornography?
MC: During the Exotic Dancer Convention I’d be in my room touching up my makeup watching the RNC, and someone would mention all the small businesses and their back-stories. A lot of porn companies are mom and pop family businesses. You would think that Republicans would actually like that. Porn brings in so much to the state of California. Since the GOP does not support the porn industry—it is the only thing that might keep me from voting Republican, from being 100-percent Republican. (Carey is also pro-choice and pro-gay marriage.)
TNR: But you’re still leaning toward Mitt Romney.
MC: That’s the one thing telling to the porn people. I understand the Republicans have this thing with porn, but there are so many other issues we have to work on. Homes are worth less. Gas prices have risen. The unemployment rate is the highest it’s ever been. I guarantee that worrying about porn industry is number 173 on Mitt Romney’s agenda.
TNR: Do you spend a lot of time trying to convince your friends in the adult film world to vote Republican?
MC: I’m not going to lie—I do not think a lot of the girls in the adult industry even are registered to vote or follow politics.
TNR: Is the government currently threatening the porn industry?
MC: The big thing that’s going on right now is just the condom law. (Los Angeles passed a law earlier this year requiring adult film stars to wear condoms.) You know, right now, condoms have not been mandatory in porn. In fact, a lot of companies do not even give performers a choice. The company owners don’t want (the law). But the girls probably do.
TNR: It’s a Democratic regulation—do you agree with it?
MC: I don’t think the government should regulate porn, but performers should have the right to choose whether or not to wear condoms.
This interview has been condensed and edited.