Arnold Schwarzenegger talks Trump, politics and bipartisanship at SXSW


AUSTIN — Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke to a packed room at SXSW on Sunday.

He sat across from POLITICO‘s Edward-Isaac Dovere for a live edition of their podcast “Off Message.”

Dovere started the interview off by asking Schwarzenegger his thoughts on President Donald Trump’s recent comments about him.

“President Trump talked about you last night,” Dovere said. “Let me read what he said at his rally in Pennsylvania … he said, ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger failed when he did the show … and he was a movie star.’ So, he likes to talk about you. What’s your current thought on him?”

“Well first of all,” Schwarzenegger responded, “I think it’s very nice to call me a movie star. That’s very nice. You know though, I never really know exactly why the Russians make him say certain things … it’s beyond me.”

Dovere asked Schwarzenegger about being a self-proclaimed republican in a party that he often disagreed with. They also spoke for some time about the importance of bipartisanship. Schwarzenegger highlighted how during his time in California, he’d gone after issues that weren’t typically associated with the Republican Party, but still important to him.

He said he always told his staff and fellow politicians that “they are servants of the public, not servants of a political party.”

He also added that, “I’m Republican and I’m a true Republican … it’s a fantastic party except that it’s veered off into the right into some strange lands.”

Dovere asked the former governor about the #MeToo movement and the allegations that had been made against Schwarzenegger in the past.

“The fact of the matter is you have to take these things seriously,” Schwarzenegger replied.

He said he had to admit that he’d “made mistakes and needed to apologize.”

Then added that he thinks all men and women should go through even more training to know what is appropriate in the workplace.

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