Gavin Newsom presidential run is ‘no-brainer’, Arnold Schwarzenegger says | Gavin Newsom


A presidential run by the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, is a “no-brainer”, according to one of the Democrat’s predecessors, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the film star and “governator” who ran the golden state for eight years from 2003.

“I think it’s a no-brainer,” Schwarzenegger told the Hollywood Reporter in an interview published on Tuesday. “Every governor from a big state wants to take that shot.”

Schwarzenegger also discussed his exercise regime and described how, at 75, he plans “to live forever”.

Newsom, 55, is one of few names proposed as a credible alternative to Joe Biden, the 80-year-old Democrat in the White House – though such suggestions have quietened since Biden announced his re-election campaign.

Shortly after election day next year, Biden will turn 82. Newsom can in all likelihood wait until 2028 to take his own tilt at the presidency, not least as his term in state office will end in 2027.

First elected in 2018, Newsom steered California through the Covid pandemic but had to fight off a recall before winning re-election.

Schwarzenegger, 75, said: “What do I think about his performance? When you become part of the club, you don’t criticise governors – because you know how tough the job is. It’s impossible to please everybody.

“Before I ran for governor, I had an 80% approval rating. As soon as I announced, I had a 43% approval rating. Immediately, half of the people said, ‘Fuck 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 criticise him for not doing it my way.”

Schwarzenegger earned the “governator” nickname, based on his famous roles in the Terminator films, when he won election as governor in 2003. He left office in 2011, unable to run for president because he was born in Austria.

Asked for his view of Ron DeSantis of Florida, the leading Republican challenger to Donald Trump for the GOP nomination next year, Schwarzenegger was mildly critical.

“I was against some of the stuff he did with Covid,” Schwarzenegger told the Reporter, of the governor who moved against mask and vaccine mandates and other public health measures.

“But who am I to judge? That’s for the people of Florida. My style is different. His is too conservative for me. That doesn’t mean I think he’s terrible. He’s just not my style.”

In a passage of possible interest to Biden, the Reporter asked Schwarzenegger about his own battle against the effects of age.

“I never had cosmetic surgery,” he said. “I never tried any gimmicks. Years ago, I [went to] UCLA, where they have world-renowned experts on ageing. I asked if anything has been created, or that is about to be available, that reverses ageing.

“He says, ‘Absolutely nothing, end of story.’ The only thing you can do is the old-fashioned stuff. I could wipe out earlier because I smoke cigars, but then it gets counterbalanced by me eating well and then exercising.

“… I still work out every day, I ride my bike every day, and I make movies – show business is another part of my life. I add in my life, I never subtract.

“I don’t need money. I get money because you have to have a certain value and the agents negotiate. But I have a great time doing it. I love everything that I do. There’s no retiring. I’m still on this side of the grass, so I’m happy. My plan is to live forever – and so far, so good!”