Arnold Schwarzenegger won’t be back to mainstream politics anytime soon.
Despite rumors suggesting otherwise, the ex-California governor and Terminator star confirmed Sunday he will not enter a bid for a U.S. Senate seat.
“I’m deeply flattered by all of the people who have approached me about running for Senate, but my mission right now is to bring sanity to Washington through redistricting reform like we passed here in California,” he wrote on Facebook. “Gerrymandering has completely broken our political system and I believe my best platform to help repair it is from the outside, by campaigning for independent redistricting commissions. Thank you for your kind messages and all of the support and I hope you’ll join me in my battle against gerrymandering with the same enthusiasm.”
Schwarzenegger’s comments come after the former Celebrity Apprentice host became embattled in a media war with his TV predecessor, President Donald Trump, after a one-season stint at the head of the long-running reality competition series’ 15th season.
Dissatisfied with the ratings of the January premiere, Trump tweeted that the heir to his Apprentice throne “got ‘swamped’ (or destroyed)” in comparison to his viewership numbers. Schwarzenegger fired back at Trump shortly thereafter, suggesting he and the president “switch jobs” due to the president’s approval ratings, which hovered around 42 percent at the time.
Following Trump’s heckling of Schwarzenegger during February’s National Prayer Breakfast, the Kindergarten Cop actor released a statement indicating he would not return to Celebrity Apprentice due to the show’s “baggage.” Season 15 advisors Jessica Alba and Tyra Banks have also reportedly nixed the possibility of representing their respective brands, the Honest Company and Tyra Beauty, on future broadcasts.
Following a successful career in Hollywood, the Austrian-born Schwarzenegger, 69, previously served as the 38th governor of California between 2003 and 2011. Despite being a Republican, he staunchly opposed Trump’s presidential aspirations, indicating he wouldn’t vote for the former reality star in the 2016 election.
“Like many Americans, I’ve been conflicted this election,” Schwarzenegger tweeted in October, noting he would be voting against the GOP for the first time since becoming an American citizen in 1983. “I want to take a moment to remind my fellow Republicans that it is not only acceptable to choose your country over your party — it is your duty.”