Former California Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t shy about saying who he wants to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.
The former movie star-turned-politician is calling on Ohio Gov. John Kasich to make a second run for the Oval Office. Kasich, who ran against Trump in 2016, is consistently named as a potential Republican alternative to Trump.
During a joint appearance with Kasich in Sacramento on Wednesday at an event hosted by New Way California, an organization whose goal is to broaden the base and improve the image of the Republican Party in the deep blue state, Schwarzenegger made it clear that he wants his friend to take his talents to Washington.
“John, get back to Washington and kick some butt and take care of this mess, once and for all. We can’t take it anymore,” the actor and former California governor told Kasich on Wednesday. “Your vision and inclusiveness is just what our nation needs,” Schwarzenegger said to Kasich in front of the crowd.
This isn’t the first time Schwarzenegger has endorsed Kasich. Back in 2016, Schwarzenegger voted for Kasich in the California Republican primary and once Trump won the presidency, Schwarzenegger discussed why Kasich is presidential material and should make another run.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times last year, Schwarzenegger was even more explicit about his views on Kasich’s future potential.
“He should run in 2020, yes,” Schwarzenegger said. “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 in statewide government. He has the experience. He can see things. He has vision,”
Schwarzenegger went on, saying, “He’s also a moderate. He’s a tough Republican and very fiscally conservative, but he also at the same time loves helping people.”
Kasich has played coy about his future plans once his term as governor expires next year. When asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” earlier this month about a potential presidential run, Kasich said, “I don’t know what I’m going to do, but all options are on the table, both for me in my private, my professional life.”