Elections

Schwarzenegger Throws Support Behind Kasich — Because Of Climate Change?

Former California governor and long-time Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsed Gov. John Kasich Sunday ahead of Ohio’s primary.

“This is the land of opportunity; it is the greatest nation in the world, no matter what anyone says out there,” the actor and winner of the 1969 Mister Universe said during an outdoor rally in Ohio. “And we need John Kasich to now take charge and be at the White House.”

Kasich “kicked some serious butt” when he was in Congress, said Schwarzenegger, who will be replacing Donald Trump as the host of “The Celebrity Apprentice.”

Schwarzenegger’s support of Kasich’s presidential bid may stem, in part, from their mutual concerns related to man-made global warming. Kasich has repeatedly used his belief in man-made global warming to create a potential point of difference between his opponents and himself in the presidential race.

GOP candidates Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, have all made comments critical of human-caused climate change.

“I know that human beings affect the climate,” Kasich said at a town hall in Vermont in February. “I know it’s an apostasy in the Republican Party to say that. I guess that’s what I’ve always been — being able to challenge some of the status quo.”

Several audience members came away from the town hall surprised by Kasich’s announcement.

“The fact that he even acknowledges that there is science which absolutely, absolutely, without question shows that human activity is degrading our environment, gives me great hope,” Art Rovner, a Vermont citizen and self-proclaimed scientist, said after Kasich’s comments during the rally.

Schwarzenegger, for his part, is a long-time proponent of renewable energy, writing in a 2011 Washington Post editorial that the federal government needs to begin subsidizing renewable energy.

“To bring true competition to the energy market, ensure our national security and create jobs here rather than in China or elsewhere,” he wrote,  the government should “level the playing field” and give solar and wind companies the same kind of subsidies it supposedly gives the oil industry.

And in December, Schwarzenegger posted a screed to Facebook, admonishing all of his friends and followers to stop yapping about how global warming isn’t happening, and instead find solutions to climate degradation.

“There are always a few of you, asking why we should care about the temperature rising, or questioning the science of climate change,” the actor wrote in a post titled “I don’t give a **** if we agree about climate change.”

He added: “I want you to know that I hear you,” Schwarzenegger added. “Even those of you who say renewable energy is a conspiracy. Even those who say climate change is a hoax. Even those of you who use four letter words.”

The “Conan The Barbarian” star continued his pitch, rattling off World Health Organization (WHO) statistics showing global warming is killing people at high rates in far flung areas of the world.

“(Do) you believe it is acceptable that 7 million people die every year from pollution,” he noted, referring to a WHO study from September finding pollution killed millions of people in 2012.

That number eclipses murders and suicides combined, Schwarzenegger wrote.

He added: “Every day, 19,000 people die from pollution from fossil fuels. Do you accept those deaths? Do you accept that children all over the world have to grow up breathing with inhalers?”

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