Arnold Schwarzenegger is “back” for his next mission: taking oil companies to court “for knowingly killing people all over the world.”
The global environmentalist and former governor of California announced this effort Sunday at the SXSW festival.
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“This is no different from the smoking issue. The tobacco industry knew for years and years and years and decades, that smoking would kill people, would harm people and create cancer, and were hiding that fact from the people and denied it. Then eventually they were taken to court and had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars because of that,” Schwarzenegger said. “The oil companies knew from 1959 on, they did their own study that there would be global warming happening because of fossil fuels, and on top of it that it would be risky for people’s lives, that it would kill.”
He added, “I don’t think there’s any difference: If you walk into a room and you know you’re going to kill someone, it’s first degree murder; I think it’s the same thing with the oil companies.”
Schwarzenegger released this bombshell as he prepares to help host a major environmental conference this May in Vienna.
“We’re going to go after them, and we’re going to be in there like an Alabama tick. Because to me it’s absolutely irresponsible to know that your product is killing people and not have a warning label on it, like tobacco,” he said. “Every gas station on it, every car should have a warning label on it, every product that has fossil fuels should have a warning label on it.”
Schwarzenegger used his platform to take a couple shots at President Trump as well. Trump made reference to him at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday night, for having “failed when he did the show,” a reference to the former governor’s rocky one-season stint as the host of “The Apprentice” on NBC last year.
“I never know really why the Russians make him say certain things,” Schwarzenegger said. “It’s beyond me. Why do you think he says those things? He’s supposed to be very busy.”
Later, the former governor returned to the attack on Trump, teasing that the script of the new “Terminator” movie, which Schwarzenegger is set to start filming in June, had to be rewritten to include Trump. “The T-800 model that I play, he’s traveling back in time to 2019 to get Trump out of prison,” Schwarzenegger joked.
Schwarzenegger said he’d like to see Ohio Gov. John Kasich run for president. But he is urging Kasich to run in the Republican primary rather than as an independent.
“He’s a great Republican,” Schwarzenegger said.
He urged the GOP to pay attention to what happened in California, where Democrats have become completely dominant. Republicans there, he said, “are stuck with an ideology that doesn’t really fit anymore with what people want.”
Schwarzenegger reminisced about the environmental work of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush as examples.
“Today, those are all things that are absolutely a no-no in the Republican Party. I didn’t change; It’s the Republican Party that’s changed,” he said. “Now we have to work very hard to get the party back to where it was.”
He spoke about a letter written to him by former President Bill Clinton urging him to become a Democrat. And then he noted: “But the bottom line is that I’m a Republican, and I’m a true Republican, and I will always be a Republican. It’s a fantastic party, but they’ve veered off into the right into some strange lanes.”
What do you think about Schwarzenegger’s new mission? What about his view of the GOP?