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“This is just a hiccup for America,” says Arnold Schwarzenegger.
He is at the Cannes Film Festival to help promote a documentary about underwater life, called Wonders of the Sea. Spectacular as it is, everyone wants to talk to Arnie about his attitude to Donald Trump. For a start, they have had closely followed spats on Twitter. More importantly, Schwarzenegger’s career shift from body-builder to action movie star to the governor of California makes him perhaps the ultimate American immigrant success story. Even as a high-profile Republican, surely he can’t support bans on Muslim visitors or walls along the border
At first, the Terminator doesn’t want to be drawn. “We are promoting Wonders of the Sea, not Trump,” he says. “This is a whole other campaign.” But Schwarzenegger is a born campaigner – he is particularly proud of having signed off on America’s toughest environmental legislation when governor – insists he’s not bothered by Trump’s proposals for budget cuts to environmental protection and reducing refugee numbers. “I think America will work its way through it. You will see the reaction and the way it is all going to unravel very quickly.”
The United States is still a democracy, he insists. Nothing depends on the will of just one man. “I think everything will sort itself out. I think that the kind of un-American tone has been struck down by the judges, so I am not worried. We have gone through Watergate, all these different troubles and America always came out well.”
Wonders of the Sea is a 3D film shot and edited by Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the great oceanographer and film-maker Jacques Cousteau, who won the top prize in Cannes with his The Silent World in 1956. It follows a spectacular journey across the Pacific, with stop-offs on reefs in Fiji, Hawaii and California. The point, says Cousteau, is to encourage children and their parents to love the underwater world and want to help preserve it. It carefully avoids any hint of political ideology or blame for the toxic pollutants still poured into the sea by Industry.
“It presents something so beautiful to people they will fall in love and want to protect it,” says Schwarzenegger, who narrates the film’s commentary. It was knowledge, he says, that turned him into an environmentalist. “I wasn’t into it at all, like everyone I ws just living my life, I appreciated the environment because I grew up in Austria but when I became governor I saw people die because of pollution and saw what offshore drilling does, all this stuff.” He approached the Democrat bloc in the state legislature to help him push through new regulations. “They said: ‘You’re a Republican, are you serious?’ And I said ‘I’m very serious because I don’t see this as a political issue. We must do it.'”
Why that isn’t working for President Trump he can’t explain. “I don’t know what makes people tick. All I know is that when I see him going in the wrong direction, as we have done, whether it’s about him striking the budget of after-school programs or the environment or in any other way, we will speak up. We have the power to make changes. Let’s not wait for this one guy to change his mind.” Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t voluntarily leaving the Apprentice, he was fired by his bad (pathetic) ratings, not by me. Sad end to great show??? Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017Hey, @realDonaldTrump, I have some advice. See you at Hart Middle School? Here’s more info about #afterschool: https://t苏州夜场招聘/NOgdhBHyyppic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/NQI2OdVqtF??? Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) March 21, 2017
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