As a former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger's advice is in demand when it comes to the upcoming recall election of current Gov. Gavin Newsom. So, yes, he has spoken to Caitlyn Jenner, who declared her candidacy to replace Newsom just last week.
"Just about everyone that is thinking about running has called me," Schwarzenegger said Monday during a Jimmy Kimmel Live! appearance. "I'm very good friends with Caitlyn. I have the utmost respect for her, but I'm also very good friends with Gov. Newsom and I'm good friends with all the other people that have contacted and have asked me for advice about running or not running."
It makes sense that people would consult the Terminator star. He was the winner of another gubernatorial recall election, in which voters decide whether to replace the state's highest official and who will do it all at once. In Schwarzenegger's case, they selected him from a field of more than 130 candidates to replace then Gov. Gray Davis in 2003.
This time around, only a handful of people have announced their candidacies so far. But Schwarzenegger, who was in office from 2003 to 2011, said he expects more than 100 people to join the race.
"The key thing about all of this is, [it] doesn't matter if it's Caitlyn or it's anyone else, you have a clear vision of where you want to go, what are the kind of changes you want to make and why are you qualified to become governor," Schwarzenegger said. "This is what you have to convince the people. All the other stuff is all nonsense because the press will attack you no matter who you are. They attacked me, but then in the end, I won."
Jenner, a longtime Republican, suggested that her priorities would be lowering taxes and helping small businesses, which she says have been hurt by "over-restrictive lockdowns." She's criticized Newsom for his ban on fracking.
Schwarzenegger was coy about whether he thought Jenner would win.
"Well, you know, anyone has a chance," Schwarzenegger said. "I think that the people are dissatisfied with what is going on here in California, and I hope that as many people as possible are jumping into the race and going for it."
As the Los Angeles Times reports, the special election will most likely take place in November.
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