On Friday, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger visited Sacramento to mark 20 years since he took the oath of office as the state’s 38th governor.
He was welcomed with a standing ovation by more than 200 people gathered at a fundraiser for the Sacramento Press Club.
During his remarks, Schwarzenegger reflected on what he called the seven best years of his life all while urging more civility and unity in today’s political climate.
“I’m very, very adamant about working across the aisle and about not seeing the other side as the enemy. Let’s work together. If we want to stay number one in the world, which we have an easy chance to do, if we work together we can continue being number one as a nation. That’s the bottom line,” Schwarzenegger said.
Schwarzenegger entered the 2003 recall election against then-Governor Gray Davis and ended up winning from a group of 135 candidates, the first and only time a California governor has been recalled. Current Governor Gavin Newsom survived a 2021 recall election.
Schwarzenegger went on to win reelection and was the last Republican governor of the state.
Among some of his political comments at the engagement were criticizing former President Donald Trump for some of his rhetoric, while he complimented former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as a “fighter and a winner,” and commended President Joe Biden for meeting with Chinese President Xi.
Asked whether he’s considering a run for the U.S. Senate or any other office, Schwarzenegger said he has “totally ruled it out,” noting he’s focused on other priorities, including environmental advocacy, policy work at the USC Schwarzenegger Institute, and new acting roles in two upcoming Danny DeVito films.
Proceeds from the event will go toward scholarships for student journalists.