Most people know Arnold Schwarzenegger as the star of The Terminator franchise, but his political success is not to be underestimated. He made quite a splash while serving as the Governor of California, but which party does he belong to?
Arnold Schwarzenegger is a proud Republican, and he’s been supporting this party ever since moving to the US in 1968. That doesn’t necessarily mean he agrees with all the policies made by the party’s leaders – especially the controversial president Donald Trump.
Take a look back at Schwarzenegger’s political career to find out how he became an outspoken supporter of the Republican Party.
Joining the Party
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s devotion to the Republican Party may come as a surprise to some, because the majority of Hollywood superstars happen to be leaning to the left. Schwarzenegger, however, didn’t go down that road, because the Democratic Party of the late ‘60s reminded him of socialism he tried to escape from.
The Terminator star decided to become a Republican after being impressed by Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign. After listening to a speech where Nixon discussed “free enterprise, getting the government off your back, lowering the taxes and strengthening the military”, he asked a friend which party he belonged to and immediately decided to join.
“I have been a Republican ever since. And trust me – in my wife’s family, that’s no small achievement. But I am proud to be with the party of Abraham Lincoln, the party of Teddy Roosevelt, the party of Ronald Reagan, and the party of George W. Bush,” said Schwarzenegger while addressing the audience at the Republican National Convention in 2004.
Arnold Schwarzenegger took the world by storm when he announced his decision to run for the Governor of California during an appearance on Jay Leno’s show in 2003. Even though he didn’t have an impressive political background, his vigorous campaign won people over, and he won the election by a landslide.
Schwarzenegger had a high approval during his time in office, and it wasn’t much of a surprise when he was re-elected for the second term. Fighting climate change was one of his main priorities – he managed to reach an agreement to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions and made important steps towards reducing congestion and cleaning the air.
Despite his enormous popularity, Schwarzenegger’s ratings dropped to a record low by the end of his second term. He failed to put California on a sound financial footing during his time as a Governor, and the state budget deficit was at approximately $28 billion when he left the office in 2011.
Speaking Against Republicans
Arnold Schwarzenegger is still a member of the Republican Party, but that doesn’t mean he agrees with all of their policies. Back in 2016, he announced he wouldn’t be voting for a Republican candidate for the first time since becoming a US citizen.
“As proud as I am to label myself a Republican, there is one label that I hold above all else – American. So I want to take a moment today to remind my fellow Republicans that it is not only acceptable to choose your country over your party – it is your duty,” wrote Schwarzenegger.
The Terminator star didn’t mention Donald Trump by name, but it was pretty clear who he was referring to. The two men had a public feud ever since, and Schwarzenegger poked fun at the President’s constant jabs by telling Men’s Health “He’s in love with me. That’s the reality of it. With Trump, he wants to be me.”
Former California Governor, who always put an effort into fighting climate change, revealed that the main reason why he denounced Trump were his attempts to “rescue the coal industry”. He also told The New York Times he doesn’t like the direction in which the Republican Party is heading, because they’re giving people “Twitter fights instead of answers”.