The war of words between the former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and President Donald Trump is heating up - not over policy, but TV ratings.
On Thursday, Trump converted a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast into a discussion about The Apprentice, a reality show he used to host.
“We had tremendous success on The Apprentice, and when I ran for president, I had to leave the show,” Trump said. “That’s when I knew for sure I was doing it. And they hired a big, big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to take my place, and we know how that turned out. The ratings went right down the tubes, it’s been a total disaster, and (creator Mark Burnett) will never, ever bet against Trump again,” he said.
Arnold’s spokesperson had a ready comeback: “Arnold is praying that President Trump can start improving his own approval ratings, which were the worst in history for an incoming president, by taking his job seriously and working inclusively,” the statement to ABC News read.
Schwarzenegger, 70, then released a video in response. “Hey Donald,” he said. “I have a great idea. Why don’t we switch jobs: You take over TV, because you’re such an expert in ratings, and I take over your job. Then people can finally sleep comfortably again.”
The National Prayer Breakfast? pic.twitter.com/KYUqEZbJIE— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) February 2, 2017
Donald Trump started the entire row in the most presidential manner, by throwing a tantrum on Twitter.
Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got "swamped" (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT. So much for....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
being a movie star-and that was season 1 compared to season 14. Now compare him to my season 1. But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
Arnold, in response, read bits of an Abraham Lincoln speech, in his ‘Austrian accent’:
I wish you the best of luck and I hope you'll work for ALL of the American people as aggressively as you worked for your ratings.— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) January 6, 2017
In a Men’s Health cover story, due out March 3, Arnold admits that he once considered going and meeting Donald Trump, and even asked his assistant to set up a meeting.
“I said, ‘Let’s sit on it for an hour. I called my assistant and said, ‘I think what we really should do is request a meeting and go back to New York.’” He pauses for maximum impact. “And then we just smash his face into the table.”
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