Arnold Schwarzenegger reveals he wants to run for president – and believes he could win

The former California governor and actor cannot run for president since he was born in Austria

Eric Garcia
Monday 19 June 2023 10:17 EDT
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Former California governor and longtime Hollywood action star Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he would run for president if the US Constitution allowed him to.

The “Terminator” star spoke with CNN’s Chris Wallace for CNN and Max’s “Who’s Talking.” Mr Wallace noted that the Constitution stipulates that a president be a “natural born citizen” of the United States, and asked had it not been for that, would Mr Schwarzenegger have run?

“Well, yes, of course,” he said. “I mean, I think the field was wide open in 2016. And I think the field is open right now. I mean, think about it right now. I mean, who is there? There is really not a person that can bring everyone together. Who is here today that people say okay, he’s not too old or he’s not too this or too that, or is that because it’s now a question about who do you vote against then who do you vote for?”

Mr Schwarzenegger served as governor of California from 2003, when former Democratic governor Gray Davis was recalled, until 2011. As a moderate Republican who was then married to Maria Shriver, a member of the Kennedy family, Republicans had discussed changing the Constitution to allow for him to run. In 2004, he addressed the Republican National Convention.

But he left office with historically low approval ratings amid a poor economy and a massive budget hole. He exited Sacramento with only 23 per cent of Californians supporting him.

When Mr Wallace asked if he would run in 2024 if he could, Mr Schwarzenegger said “absolutely.”

“Put me in, because it’s, look – it’s a no brainer,” he said. “And when that was, you know, running for governor, it was clear that people are looking for some new answer, not a right wing or left wing, but someone that can bring the nation together and doesn’t see the other party as the enemy…There’s just so many things that need to be done. And can be done. And what makes it so wonderful is because it’s doable. It’s all doable, or at least it’s just people coming together and say yes, we can do it.”

Since leaving office, Mr Schwarzenegger has focused on ending gerrymandering legislative districts. He has also emerged as a major critic of former president Donald Trump, having compared the January 6 riot to Kristallnacht, when the Nazis carried out violence against Jews in Austria, which was then under Nazi control.

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