Arnold Schwarzenegger Zings Donald Trump's Low Approval Rating In New Video: A History of Their Feud
There wasn't always tension between the two
Before Trump’s presidential bid and Schwarzenegger’s takeover of The New Celebrity Apprentice, the two were actually pals. But earlier this month, it was revealed that Schwarzenegger is leaving The New Celebrity Apprentice due in part to Trump’s “baggage.”
He lashed out at Trump again on Twitter, Tuesday, poking fun at the president’s low approval rating in a video clip.
Below is a timeline of all the events that led up to Schwarzenegger’s departure – and what’s happened since, including the new insults.
August 2004: Schwarzenegger, who was elected to the California governorship the year prior, is one of the rising stars of the Republican Party, and thus, is in New York City for the Republican National Convention. According to Politico, at Trump’s request, he switches his hotel from the Mandarin Oriental to a Trump property.
August 2007: Schwarzenegger does a guest appearance on The Celebrity Apprentice. In the episode, Trump describes the then-governor as a “great friend.” That same year, Trump donates $10,000 to Schwarzenegger’s re-election campaign.
June 2015: Trump announces his campaign for president. In his campaign launch speech, he makes comments about Mexicans, which NBCUniversal calls “derogatory” in a statement. NBCUniversal then cut ties with Trump, saying it will no longer air the Trump-owned Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, and will take him off of The Apprentice. Trump, however, says he’ll no longer be able to host the show regardless, considering his time commitments to his campaign.
September 2015: Schwarzenegger is announced as Trump’s replacement on The Celebrity Apprentice. The two share a hug at the Republican Presidential Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Sept. 16 in Simi Valley, California.
June 2016: Though Trump has clinched the Republican party’s nomination at this point, Schwarzenegger confirms to the Los Angeles Times that in the primary he voted for his friend, Ohio Governor John Kasich, by a mail-in ballot.
Schwarzenegger declines to endorse Trump during an appearance on Meet the Press, but reiterates his stance as a Republican: “I can comfortably say today that I’m a Republican and will always be a Republican, because the Republican Party is a big tent.”
October 2016: Schwarzenegger announces that he will not vote for Trump. He encourages his fellow Republicans to “choose your country over your party.”
December 2016: Following Trump’s election, it’s revealed that he’ll remain an executive producer on The Celebrity Apprentice. Despite some controversy, Schwarzenegger defends Trump’s involvement.
“I knew from the beginning that he is an executive producer on the show,” he said. “It’s no different than when I was running for governor and became governor. My credit in starring in Terminator still said Schwarzenegger, and everything stayed the same. I continued getting the royalties and all that.”
January 2017: After the season premiere of The New Celebrity Apprentice featuring Schwarzenegger, Trump tweets that the show is going downhill and that Schwarzenegger got “destroyed” in the ratings.
Schwarzenegger replies, wishing Trump the best of luck with “the people’s work.”
He also records himself reading a quote of Abraham Lincoln’s, and tells Trump he hopes it will “inspire” him.
February 2017: At the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 2, Trump continues his Schwarzenegger ratings jabs.
“When I ran for president, I had to leave the show,” he says. “That’s when I knew for sure I was doing it. And they hired a big, big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to take my place, and we know how that turned out. The ratings went right down the tubes. It’s been a total disaster. And Mark [Burnett, producer and creator of The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice] will never, ever bet against Trump again, and I want to just pray for Arnold, if we can, for those ratings, okay?”
Schwarzenegger responds with another Twitter video, suggesting he and Trump switch jobs.
His spokesperson Daniel Ketchell also releases the following statement to ABC News: “Arnold is praying that President Trump can start improving his own approval ratings, which were the worst in history for an incoming president, by taking his job seriously and working inclusively.”
Later that month, in an interview with Men’s Journal, Schwarzenegger says that his stance on environmental issues is a big reason why he can’t support Trump.
“I’m just too much of a person that sees the threat of pollution and the environmental problems we have,” he shared. “I felt like his approach of, ‘We are gonna bring coal back,’ and all of this. I mean, c’mon! I cannot support going back to the Stone Age — it would be turning my back on everything that I’ve worked on.”
He also said that Trump’s controversial travel ban “makes us look stupid” and that he’d like to “smash his face into the table.”
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March 2017: In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Schwarzenegger announces that he’s leaving The New Celebrity Apprentice after just one season, which concluded in February. Though he says he enjoyed the show, he claims it had too much “baggage” — an undeniable allusion to Trump.
“I loved every second of working with NBC and Mark Burnett,” the statement reads. “Everyone — from the celebrities to the crew to the marketing department — was a straight 10, and I would absolutely work with all of them again on a show that doesn’t have this baggage.”
Then, on March 21, Schwarzenegger took to Twitter to zing Trump – and issue a challenge.
“Oh Donald, the ratings are in and you got swamped,” Schwarzenegger said in the video, referencing the president’s 37 percent Gallup approval rating. “Wow, now you’re in the thirties? But what do you expect? I mean you take away after-school programs for children and Meals on Wheels for the poor people, that’s not what you call making America great again. ”
He continued of the president’s recent budget proposal, “Come on! I mean who is advising you? Let me give you some advice, go to a middle school – the Hart Middle School, right in Washington, six miles away from he White House. I’ll take you there so you can see the fantastic work that they’re doing for these children. Let’s do it, huh?”
Schwarzenegger also tweeted a link to his After-School All-Stars program, which provides after-school activities for youth.