Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – who warned of the dangers of fascism following the insurrection at the US Capitol last winter – said he feels the events of Nazi Germany mirror “what happens to when people are being lied to about the elections.”
“This is so much kind of a feeling of what they were talking about when we were talking about in a Nazi time of when people were lied to all the time and what that led to,” Schwarzenegger told CNN’s Dana Bash, who asked the former governor why he put out a video message comparing the January 6 riot to Kristallnacht, in an upcoming episode of her CNN podcast “Total Recall: California’s Political Circus.”
“I just felt that it was so sad of what happened on January 6,” Schwarzenegger said. “Eventually, this whole thing can go really quickly south.”
Schwarzenegger’s comments – made to Bash late this summer – ahead of the launch of the podcast – come as the special House committee investigating the riot at the Capitol on January 6 ramps up its work. The committee has issued two rounds of subpoenas to a batch of close aides and allies of former President Donald Trump as well as individuals involved in the planning and organization of the “Stop the Steal” rally that served as a prelude to the riot at the Capitol and other rallies organized in the lead-up to the day of the attack.
The former governor’s candidness is on display in the latest installment of “Total Recall: California’s Political Circus,” in which Bash sits down with the bodybuilder-turned-movie-star-turned-politician at his Los Angeles home. Schwarzenegger takes a rare, detailed look back at the 2003 recall election that made him governor.
The recent episodes in the series follow California’s September recall election, in which Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom held on to his job, capping a GOP-backed recall effort that was born in partisan anger over his pandemic response but ended with a vote of confidence in his strategy to combat Covid-19.
The recall against Newsom was only the second attempt to recall a sitting governor in California history that reached the ballot. The last time was in 2003, when voters recalled Democrat Gray Davis and replaced him with Schwarzenegger, a Republican.
Schwarzenegger, in his conversation with Bash, also talks about being a celebrity turned politician, his relationship with the Kennedy family and the Los Angeles Times investigation that came out in the final month of his campaign for governor.
The former governor, who is California’s most recent Republican leader, said that in addition to worrying about election lies, he is concerned about partisanship.
“I’m worried about both parties. Both parties need to come together and work together because you cannot have just run the country on 50% of the brainpower. You need 100% of the brainpower,” he said.
“So therefore, you need Republican ideas when you do health care reform. You need Democratic ideas when you do health care reform. You need Republican ideas when you do the infrastructure. You need Democratic ideas when you do the infrastructure.”