Arnold Schwarzenegger on Donald Trump: ‘He’s in Love With Me … He Wants to Be Me.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has been a Republican for just about as long as he’s lived in America. At the 2004 Republican National Convention, he told a story about watching Richard Nixon in 1968, and asking a friend: What party is he? When he learned Nixon was a Republican, Schwarzenegger responded: “Then I am a Republican.”
These days, though, it’s no secret that he doesn’t exactly see eye-to-eye with the current highest-ranking Republican in the country, President Donald Trump. The pair have sparred back and forth on a number of topics—from Trump’s policies to Schwarzenegger’s low-rated stint as Trump’s replacement on Celebrity Apprentice—for the majority of Trump’s time in the political spotlight.
In the October cover story of Men’s Health, Schwarzenegger takes a guess at why the 45th president won’t drop the feud. “I think he really—he’s in love with me,” he says. “That’s the reality of it. With Trump, he wants to be me.”
Schwarzenegger also reminisced about a time in the past, pre-feud, when the pair watched wrestling together:
“I remember that in the old days, when we went to the wrestling matches, the way he admired people with bodies, and the way they would jump around in the ring, and to perform physical stunts and stuff like that—he had great admiration for that. He asked me, ‘How do you do that, with the movies? I mean, it’s so believable’. He drilled down to specific questions that fascinated him. It was about ‘How do you sell something? Like, a scene. How do you go and act out a scene so that I get affected emotionally?’ He was fascinated by that. ‘How do you do this when you do interviews—that you penetrate through it and you then are totally believable?'”
The relationship between the two hasn’t always been frayed. When Schwarzenegger first took over as the host of Celebrity Apprentice, Trump wished him well. According to Politico, back in 2004—a year after he was elected Governor of California—Schwarzenegger switched his hotel to one owned by Trump (at Trump’s request) during the Republican National Convention.
A couple of years later, in 2007, Schwarzenegger appeared on an episode of The Apprentice, where the future-president and then-reality host called Arnold a “great friend.” He donated $10,000 to Schwarzenegger’s campaign later that year.