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Government & Politics

Arnold Schwarzenegger Pushes John Kasich's Candidacy in Columbus

Photo of Schwarzenegger and the Kasich

Hoping for a shift of momentum with the Midwest primaries, Gov. John Kasich is putting some new energy into his campaign with a heavyweight in both the political arena and the world of entertainment.

Presidential hopeful John Kasich is adding some muscle to his campaign with the help of former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who declared, “I endorse John Kasich, our great governor.”

Schwarzenegger pumped up the crowd during a rally in Columbus. The former body builder has had strong ties with Ohio ever since Columbus started hosting the Arnold Sports Festival in the late '80’s.

It was around that time Schwarzenegger was introduced to Kasich. Schwarzenegger says he was so impressed with Kasich that he started campaigning for his congressional race.

“When he went to Washington, he kicked some serious butt. He was an action hero when he went to Washington.”

Reviving his bid
The big endorsement kicks off Kasich’s presidential campaign in the Buckeye State. This next week-and-a-half is crucial for Kasich, who’s hoping big wins in Michigan and Ohio can revive his bid.

Schwarzenegger was selected to replace Republican front-runner Donald Trump in the NBC reality TV show "Celebrity Apprentice.” But Trump was never mentioned during the rally. While talking about his story of success as an immigrant, Schwarzenegger did seem to stop short of criticizing Trump’s notions that America is not what it used to be.

“Through hard work and dedication, I was successful in body building, in show business; I became governor of the great state of California; I made a lot of money all because of America. This is the land of opportunity, it is the greatest nation in the world, no matter what anyone says out there.”

Kasich has tried to present himself as an alternative to Trump and his aggressive campaign style. While addressing the crowd, he shared some advice he received from Schwarzenegger back in 2010 when he first ran for governor of Ohio.

“He said ‘John, love the beatings, love them.’ And I’ve been loving them ever since. And it’s great. It’s like, moguls, ‘Eat up the moguls John,’ that’s what he told me.”

Talking points
Kasich followed with his usual talking points about the economy, the federal budget and health care.

“We need to destroy the curse of drugs, we need to rebuild our schools, we need to fight poverty and we need to connect with one another cause that’s the spirit of America, that’s where America lives -- in our neighborhoods, in our families and in our communities.”

In closing, as perhaps another wink to rivals such as Trump, Kasich told his supporters that winning Ohio would not only send a message to the country but around the world.

“That positive efforts and not name calling, sliming or big suggestions about how you’re gonna fix things. That a positive message and raising the bar for our kids will win, will win in this country, will move America forward, thank you very much and God Bless ya’ll.”

The rally also served as a jumpstart for Kasich supporters to get out the vote by knocking on doors, handing out yard signs and making calls to people in Michigan. He'll watch the results of that primary Tuesday night in Columbus. And Kasich has said in that he’ll drop out of the race if he doesn’t win Ohio.