Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared on the Today show this morning to discuss the revamped version of Celebrity Apprentice in which he will take over the role formerly held by Donald Trump. Today show host Matt Lauer pointed out that Schwarzenegger had opposed Trump before the election, saying he would not vote for him. But today Arnold had a different message: Trump was elected so it’s time to “stop whining” and support the president.
Schwarzenegger opened with a joke about Trump remaining on as the executive producer of the show, saying, “What was great about it is that he was part of the negotiation. I get millions of dollars for hosting the show but NBC doesn’t have to pay for it. Trump makes Mexico pay for it.”
Then Lauer turned to Schwarzenegger’s previous opposition to Trump’s candidacy. “Famously during the campaign you said you could not support him…Have you changed your mind based on anything you’ve seen during the transition?” Lauer asked. “Well, what changed was that now he is elected,” Schwarzenegger replied. He continued, “And now it is very important that we all support the president, and that we all come together and we stop whining and it becomes one nation.
“As Obama said many years ago it’s not blue states and red states it’s the Unites States of America. And there’s a great letter that I just dug up the other day that President Bush, the first, wrote to President-elect Clinton. And he said ‘I’m in my office right now and I just want you to know that I respect this office and I respect that you won and you are my president. And I want you to be very successful because if you are successful then the country is successful.’
“And this is exactly what I feel about Trump. It’s what I felt about Obama or anybody. When someone is elected then you go 100% behind them and you help them.”
Lauer interjected a note of political realism saying, “It’s not unfortunately how Washington works some times.” “No, no but that’s the ideal. It doesn’t always work like that and it’s very hard for people to do that but that’s the effort that we all have to make,” Schwarzenegger said.
The former governor of California clarified that he still had some differences with Trump. “I’m 100 percent behind him and I want to do everything that I can to help but as you also know I’m an environmentalists so to me it’s very important that at the same time—and it’s one of the reasons why I couldn’t go with Trump—I want to be sure we’re going intto a clear environment and a clean future,” he said.
At the end of this clip Lauer asks Schwarzenegger what his new catch-phrase will be on the show. This is a set up for Arnold to run through some of his best known movie lines. By the time he says “Get to the chopper!” the civics lesson is definitely over.