Arnold Schwarzenegger: "I Will Not Vote for the Republican Candidate for President"
"It is not only acceptable to choose your country over your party — it is your duty."
Donald Trump has lost Arnold Schwarzenegger's vote.
In the wake of the controversy surrounding the Trump tape released on Friday, the former California governor and Trump's replacement host for NBC's The Apprentice announced that for the first time since becoming a Republican, his vote won't be going to his party's candidate.
"For the first time since I became a citizen in 1983, I will not vote for the Republican candidate for President," began his statement posted to his social media accounts on Saturday morning.
He goes on to say that, like many Americans, he had been conflicted about who to vote for in this election. "I still haven't made up my mind about how exactly I will vote next month," he writes. "But as proud as I am to label myself a Republican, there is one label that I hold above all else — American. So I want to take a moment today to remind my fellow Republicans that it is not only acceptable to choose your country over your party — it is your duty."
As proud as I am to label myself a Republican, there is one label that I hold above all else - American. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/biRvY8S3aZ— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) October 8, 2016
The two-term California governor takes over as host of Celebrity Apprentice when the reality competition series returns in January. Trump was fired from the network last year after making derogatory statements about Mexican immigrants.
Schwarzenegger joins a growing list of Republicans who are condemning the GOP presidential candidate after his crass comments about women in a resurfaced 2005 conversation with former Access Hollywood anchor Billy Bush. In recordings released by the Washington Post on Friday, Trump is heard telling Bush that he tried to f— Nancy O'Dell, now an Entertainment Tonight co-host. Trump also said of women in general: "When you're a star, they let you do it. ... Grab them by the p—y. You can do anything."
Trump apologized on Friday, issuing the following statement: "This was locker-room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended."
He later released a video message for his "foolish" remarks, saying: "I've never said I'm a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I'm not. I've said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more-than-a-decade-old video are one of them."
On Saturday, he vowed to stay in the race, despite the media firestorm.