Schwarzenegger Says California ‘Made the Right Decision’ Not to Recall Newsom

  • Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the state “made the right decision” not to recall Newsom.
  • Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Schwarzenegger called the pool of GOP candidates “disastrous.” 
  • Schwarzenegger won a recall election back in 2003, replacing Gov. Gray Davis.

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the state “made the right decision” not to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

“I think voters made the right decision,” Schwarzenegger said, speaking to the Los Angeles Times about the results of this year’s recall election, which saw Gov. Gavin Newsom keeping his seat by a significant margin. According to an official tally from the California secretary of state’s office, as of September 16, at least 63.7% of the state voted for Newsom to keep his seat. 

“It’s better to stay with someone who you know what they’re going to do, rather than someone who comes in wacky and is changing everything around,” Schwarzenegger added. 

Schwarzenegger became governor after the recall election of former Gov. Gray Davis in 2003 and served two terms from 2003 to 2011. During the interview with the Los Angeles Times, he declined to reveal his vote in this year’s recall, but critiqued the slate of Republican candidates.

“It’s just disastrous,” Schwarzenegger told The Times, calling out controversial conservative radio talk show host and Republican frontrunner Larry Elder by name.

“This is a good comeback story,” he said. “Newsom was down and in the trenches and against the ropes. I think he woke up and made adjustments, talking issues, and all that stuff. And he was very fortunate he had Elder as the leading candidate on the other side.”

In his critique of the field of GOP candidates, Schwarzenegger — who ran as a Republican in 2003 — said they might have fared better had they addressed issues like the economy, education, and the environment instead of doing the “opposite.” 

“The voters want to protect the environment,” he said. “We have the strictest environmental laws in California, and we have proven to the world that you can have strictest environmental laws and at the same time be the most successful economy.”

Newsom is slated to keep his seat as governor, though prominent figures like Elder and former President Donald Trump have baselessly alleged that the vote count was rigged. There is no evidence of widespread vote-rigging in the election. Newsom is expected to run to be re-elected as governor in 2022.

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