Former California governor and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Saturday that he would not vote for the Republican presidential candidate for the first time since he became a US citizen in 1983.
His statement came one day after a 2005 video surfaced of Donald Trump appearing to condone sexual assault on women, including his attempt to have sex with a married woman.
Schwarzenegger said he had been feeling conflicted about the election like many other Americans, and had not made up his mind as to who he would vote for in November.
“I have been a proud Republican since I moved to America in 1968 and I heard Nixon’s words about getting the government off our backs, free trade, and defending our liberty with a strong military,” he wrote, adding that he’d joined the party the same day.
But he said that despite his pride in the Republican party, he considers himself an American first, and reminded other Republicans that “it is not only acceptable to choose your country over your party — it is your duty.”
Schwarzenegger’s statement adds a raft of comments made by other Republican leaders — several have called for Trump to drop out of the presidential race; New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte said that she will write in Mike Pence’s name.
On Sept. 14, 2015, Schwarzenegger replaced Trump as the new host of The Celebrity Apprentice. NBC, which owns the show, severed ties with Trump after he called Mexican immigrants drug dealers and rapists.
“Congrats to my friend @Schwarzenegger who is doing next season’s Celebrity Apprentice. He’ll be great & will raise lots of $ for charity,” Trump tweeted when the announcement was made last year.
In 2011, Schwarzenegger was involved in a scandal that ultimately ended his marriage to Maria Shriver after he admitted to having an affair with — and fathering the child of — Mildred Patricia Baena, who had worked as the family's housekeeper since 1991.