Action superstar and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger talked politics on Saturday, arguing that the Republican Party is on the decline because of exclusionary policies and the loss of key demographics.
“Well, you know, I told the Republican Party at the Republican convention, it was like 10 years ago, that they’re dying at the box office,” the “Terminator” star told CNN’s Michael Smerconish. “The reason why I said it was because their policies were such that they were not really including everybody.”
He explained that his party’s refusal to address big issues like health care, education, and the environment has pushed many voters, particularly women, to say “hasta la vista, baby.” Despite his warnings, he lamented the fact that the Republican Party continues to lose many more moderate voters.
“Since then, the party has decreased and now has only a 26 percent popularity overall, and so it is dying, and I see it like the Titanic,” he said. “The only thing is that we don’t have to go under completely. We don’t have to wait for that moment. Let’s change and let’s go and be more open and go back to this kind of like big tent idea of Ronald Reagan.”
Schwarzenegger’s criticism didn’t stop at the GOP. He also called out the liberal movement for moving too far left and argued that moderate and independent candidates will see a surge in response to polarized politics.
He specifically talked about former GOP presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, saying he’s been trying to convince him to run for the presidency again. He praised Kasich’s record on budget issues and advocated for him to make a 2020 presidential run.
“So that is why I say to John Kasich, ‘Go back to Washington and kick some butt and go and straighten out the mess,'” he said.
But whether or not Kasich takes his advice and says “I’ll be back” in 2020, it’s clear Schwarzenegger isn’t intending to just let off some steam in his retirement but will stick around to show that he’s interested in the survival of GOP politics.