Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) says that California voters “made the right decision” not to recall Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia regulator proposes ban on oil drilling near schools, hospitals, homes Biden says he would tap National Guard to help with supply chain issues Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Nations plan to pump oil despite net zero promises MORE (D) on Tuesday.
Schwarzenegger, who became governor after Gray Davis was recalled in 2003, made the remark in an interview with The Los Angeles Times days after Newsom easily defeated the recall.
“I think voters made the right decision,” Schwarzenegger said “It’s better to stay with someone who you know what they’re going to do, rather than someone who comes in wacky and is changing everything around.”
Newsom sailed to victory on Tuesday when voters rejected the GOP-led effort to recall him. The Associated Press called the race after 33 percent of voters supported the recall with 59 percent of the vote tallied.
According to a tally from the California secretary of state’s office, 63.8 percent of voters voted “no” on the question to recall Newsom, compared to 36.2 percent who voted “yes.”
The recall was largely fueled by anger surrounding the governor’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. But he would ultimately be helped by a summer rebound which involved the race to get residents vaccinated and stimulus measures passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature just as ballots were being sent around the state.
Among the crowded field of candidates looking to take Newsom’s place, conservative radio host Larry Elder emerged the front-runner in the race. He won 47 percent of the vote in the ballot’s second question, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
Schwarzenegger didn’t tell the Times how he voted in the recall, but he did harshly criticize the GOP field.
“It’s just disastrous,” the actor said, adding that none of the Republicans appealed to a large share of California voters. Schwarzenegger specifically said that Newsom was “fortunate” that Elder was the leading candidate.
“This is a good comeback story,” Schwarzenegger said, adding that Newsom was “down and in the trenches and against the ropes.
“I think he woke up and made adjustments, talking issues and all that stuff. And he was very fortunate he had Elder as the leading candidate on the other side,” he said.