Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has declined to support either President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump for the 2024 presidential election, citing a desire for fresh leadership.
"We need new blood," Schwarzenegger said, calling for a new generation of leaders to step forward, reported the Washington Examiner.
Politico reported that Schwarzenegger believes people seek a fresh and dynamic approach to leadership because the issues are intricate and substantial. To tackle these challenges effectively, you require someone with vitality.
"They look for something new and with power because the problems are so complex, and they're so big, that you need someone that has energy," Schwarzenegger said.
He questioned the viability of newcomers in the political landscape, given the dominance of Biden and Trump in media coverage.
"How do you build a name?" he pondered, arguing that the overwhelming focus on the two prominent figures leaves little room for emerging leaders to gain visibility.
"When Biden holds a press conference, everyone covers it. And when Trump does something, even when he sneezes, they cover it," he said. "The headlines are all-Biden or all-Trump, so there's no room for any of those other guys to get in."
GOP presidential hopeful Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is finding ways to gain that visibility.
DeSantis is set to debate Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of California on Nov. 30, which will be moderated by Fox News host Sean Hannity.
The age factor is also a recurring theme in Schwarzenegger's critique. He called the former president, 77, and Biden, 80, too old to hold office.
During a recent appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Schwarzenegger pointed to Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who is 76 years old, as a viable alternative. Schwarzenegger said Manchin is a centrist figure who understands the challenges facing the nation.
"Joe Manchin is one of them that I think stands out because he's kind of like a center guy," he said. "He comes from an energy state; but he's a Democrat, so he knows the challenges."
Following Manchin's recent declaration that he will not pursue reelection in 2024, conjecture has surged regarding a potential third-party presidential candidacy in partnership with the centrist organization No Labels.
The Hill reported that Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., believes a third-party presidential campaign by Manchin would draw more support away from Trump than from Biden.
Alternatively, political commentator and former Arkansas Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee told Newsmax in a Wednesday interview that if Manchin decides to run for president in 2024, it will "no doubt" pull votes away from Biden.
Jim Thomas ✉
Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.
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