Schwarzenegger proposes job swap after Trump criticises ratings

‘Apprentice’ presenter and ‘Terminator’ star hits back after bizarre attack by president

Donald Trump took a swipe at Arnold Schwarzenegger when speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. The Terminator actor responded on social media with a video of his own. Video: CSPAN


Arnold Schwarzenegger has told Donald Trump that the two of men should swap jobs so “people can finally sleep comfortably again” after the US president joked about his TV ratings at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday.

The Terminator star and former governor of California has replaced Mr Trump as the host of what is now called the New Celebrity Apprentice. Before being sworn in as president last month, Mr Trump attacked his successor’s ratings for the first episode of the show, tweeting: “Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got ‘swamped’ [or destroyed] by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT.”

During Thursday morning’s National Prayer Breakfast, an annual faith gathering of religious leaders and members of Congress, Mr Trump returned to the theme: “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 Mark [Burnett, creator of The Apprentice] will never, ever bet against Trump again.”

He then called on religious leaders to pray. “I want to just pray for Arnold, if we can, for those ratings,” said the president.

In response, Schwarznegger took a dig at Mr Trump in a Twitter video:

“Hey Donald, I have a great idea. Why don’t we switch jobs? You take over TV, since you’re such an expert in ratings, and I’ll take over your job, and then people can finally sleep comfortably again,” he declared, raising his eyebrows at the camera.

Within 30 minutes, Schwarzenegger’s post had 10,000 retweets.

The ratings of Celebrity Apprentice have dropped this year, down this week 16 per cent in the 18-49 age demographic, a season low.

As a Republican governor of California from 2003 to 2011, Schwarzenegger focused much of his political career on increasing clean energy and climate change mitigation. Before last year’s election, he said he would not vote for Mr Trump, making it the first time he didn’t vote for a GOP candidate since becoming a US citizen in 1983 after he emigrated from Austria.

The former professional bodybuilder also publicly criticised Mr Trump’s travel ban this week, calling it “vetted badly”.

“To go and ban people who have a green card, that means that the United States of America has given you permission to work here permanently and you are on the way to permanent citizenship . . . I was in that position . . . It’s crazy, it’s crazy and makes us look stupid when the White House is ill-prepared to put this kind of executive order out there,” he told entertainment TV host Mario Lopez on Extra.

Guardian service