Newsom recall effort is sparked by 'ordinary people,' not Republican 'power grab': Arnold Schwarzenegger

Restaurant owner accuses Newsom of gaslighting, shifting blame on recall effort

Angela Marsden claims more Democrats than Republicans signed the recall petition on ‘FOX News Live’

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger weighed in on Democrats’ claim that the recall effort against Gov. Gavin Newsom is manufactured by Republicans.

“This is the crazy thing here, when they say it’s a ‘power grab’ of the Republicans. Let me tell you, the [California] Republicans couldn’t even get anyone elected. It’s ludicrous – the Republican Party doesn’t exist. These are the signatures of the ordinary folks that have signed on,” Schwarzenegger told Politico.


“People are dissatisfied. [The recall is] the people’s way of kind of letting off some steam, and then they decide: Do we want to follow through, or not follow through?” he continued.

Schwarzenegger was elected governor as a Republican in 2003 following the recall of his predecessor Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat.

Governor Gavin Newsom rides during the San Francisco Pride Parade and Celebration 2019 on June 30, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Arun Nevader/Getty Images)

“It’s pretty much the same atmosphere today as it was then. There was dissatisfaction, to the highest level,” Schwarzenegger said. “And it’s the same with the momentum. Something that sets it off to a higher level, kind of the straw that breaks the camel’s back … like an explosion. In Newsom’s case, it was the French Laundry thing. With us, it was the power outages in 2003.”

Newsom has already begun amassing a war chest to fight the recall effort against him. His opponents have already poured millions into the recall effort, and Republicans, including former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and wealthy businessman John Cox, have launched campaigns.

Schwarzenegger praised Newsom for taking action against his detractors.


“Newsom is doing something very smart, and that is that he is engaged now,” he said. “The people have already succeeded with that, even if there’s no recall, because he now has gotten out of Sacramento. He is traveling around the state, is being seen everywhere, is involved and engaged with the vaccine, is involved with education. I see him on the news all the time now.”

Pro-recall groups say they’ve collected more than 2 million voter signatures to date – far more than the 1.5 million valid signatures needed to get a recall election on the ballot later this year. The petition signatures were turned in to registrars in California’s 58 counties earlier in March.

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser and Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.

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