Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsed Ohio Governor John Kasich for the Republican presidential ticket in 2020 on Wednesday.
“He should run in 2020, yes,” he said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
Speculation is circulating around Kasich’s plans for 2020 -- one of the stops on his book tour for “Two Paths: America Divided or United” (named after one of his 2016 campaign speeches) will be in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, where he took second place in the Republican primary.
“Kasich is an extraordinary guy. He’s a man of substance. He’s worked in Washington, he’s worked in local government, he’s worked on the statewide level,” Schwarzenegger said. “He has the experience. He can see things. He has a vision.”
Schwarzenegger compared Kasich’s style of governing to the “compassionate conservatism” that Former President George W. Bush frequently used to describe his own political philosophies.
“He’s also a moderate. He’s a tough Republican and very fiscally conservative, but he also at the same time loves helping people.”
This is not the first time Schwarzenegger has expressed admiration for Kasich’s politics. He endorsed Kasich in 2016 and campaigned for him, too. At a rally in Columbus, Ohio during the 2016 primaries, Schwarzenegger praised Kasich for his role as Chair of the House Budget Committee, saying that he “kicked some serious butt.”
“Of course I’ve know him for a long time,” Schwarzenegger said. “So I know the real guy.”
But if Kasich takes Schwarzenegger up on his suggestion, it would constitute a primary challenge to President Trump for the Republican spot in 2020. Schwarzenegger has openly ridiculed Mr. Trump and feuded with him over “Celebrity Apprentice.” He had taken over as the host of the NBC show once Mr. Trump took office but declined to return for a second season after the president mocked Schwarzenegger over the program’s declining ratings.