Rumours are swirling in Washington, D.C., that former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is contemplating a run for the U.S. Senate.
California Republicans are buzzing about the prospect, especially because, should Schwarzenegger be victorious, he’d be serving under U.S. President Donald Trump, his recent social-media nemesis.
Pre-election, Schwarzenegger refused to endorse Trump’s presidential run and urged other Republicans not to vote for him. The actor said it was the first time he didn’t vote for the GOP since becoming a U.S. citizen in 1983.
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Trump and Schwarzenegger have been warring on Twitter for months now, a battle of words that began when Schwarzenegger took over Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” hosting duties. Trump continually jabbed at Schwarzenegger’s low ratings, and the “Terminator” star would reply with measured digs about Trump’s leadership abilities and political approaches.
Last week, Schwarzenegger quit “Celebrity Apprentice”, citing the “Trump baggage” as a major factor in his decision. He also said in an interview that he thinks Trump is “in love” with him.
Now, many political insiders are saying that Schwarzenegger is contemplating moving back into the governmental arena, and there is much insinuation that he’s doing it in response to Trump’s actions. The former A-list actor even began posting more politically focused tweets in the past few days.
Politico reports that a successful Senate run “would give [Schwarzenegger] the stage to jam Trump for the next 16 months.”
If all goes according to plan, Schwarzenegger would run in the 2018 Senate race. At that point, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein would be 85 years old, so it’s possible her seat could be up for grabs.
“Right now, Governor Schwarzenegger’s focus is on using his platform to bring some sensibility and coherency to Washington by fighting for redistricting reform, like we did in California,” said Schwarzenegger spokesman Daniel Ketchell. “We are keeping all of our options open as far as how we can accomplish that.”
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However, Schwarzenegger subsequently took to social media to shoot down rumours that he’s mulling over a Senate run, explaining in a Facebook post that he’s “deeply flattered by all of the people who have approached me about running for Senate, but my mission right now is to bring sanity to Washington through redistricting reform like we passed here in California,” adding: “Gerrymandering has completely broken our political system.”