Arnold Schwarzenegger says it’s a “no-brainer” for California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to eventually make a White House bid.
“Every governor from a big state wants to take that shot,” the “Terminator” actor and California’s former Republican governor, said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Tuesday.
“I think [Newsom running for president] is a no-brainer,” Schwarzenegger said when asked to rate the job Newsom’s done as governor.
“What do I think about his performance? When you become part of the club, you don’t criticize governors — because you know how tough the job is,” Schwarzenegger, who was in office from 2003 to 2011, replied.
“It’s impossible to please everybody. Before I ran for governor, I had an 80 percent approval rating. As soon as I announced, I had a 43 percent approval rating,” said the bodybuilder-turned action movie star turned “Governator.”
“Immediately, half of the people said, ‘F— him! I’m not going to see his movies anymore.’”
“I would run things differently [than Newsom], but I’m a Republican, so of course I would. I don’t criticize him for not doing it my way,” Schwarzenegger, 75, added.
Newsom has repeatedly denied that he’s eyeing an eventual White House run, but he has built a national profile amid public battles with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who’s expected to announce his own 2024 presidential campaign in the coming weeks.
Asked about his take on DeSantis, Schwarzenegger told the publication, “I was against some of the stuff he did with COVID. But who am I to judge? That’s for the people of Florida.”
“My style is different; his is too conservative for me,” Schwarzenegger said of DeSantis. “That doesn’t mean I think he’s terrible. He’s just not my style.”
Schwarzenegger, who stars in the Netflix series “FUBAR,” said in 2018 that he “stepped over the line several times” with his conduct toward women, apologizing in an interview at the time with Men’s Health magazine.
Responding to a question from The Hollywood Reporter about what made him change his behavior, Schwarzenegger said: “I just think as time goes on, you just become wiser. You start thinking more about other people and not just about yourself. Not just what’s fun for you, not just what makes you look ballsy.”
“Also — and this is hard to explain to someone who has never had this experience — but once you’ve been in the governor’s office for seven years, you see all the problems out there and all the hardships. It turns you from a ‘me’ person to a ‘we’ person,” he continued.
“You become much more aware of what’s going on around you. And then all of a sudden when you walk away, you say, ‘I’ve got to continue with the policy stuff. We’ve got to fight for the environment. We’ve got to fight for redistricting reform.’ And to speak out about the war,” Schwarzenegger said.