Arnold Schwarzenegger Praises John Kasich at California Fundraiser

The gubernatorial pair have been friends for years.

ByABC News
October 30, 2015, 4:08 PM

— -- Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke today at a California fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate John Kasich, the Ohio governor's campaign said, putting a longtime friendship to use as Kasich struggles to raise as much money as his competitors.

The movie star and former California governor, a fellow Republican, told attendees that he thought Kasich was the only candidate who made sense during this year's GOP presidential debates and that Kasich "believes like I do in being a public servant, not a party servant," a person who was in the room told ABC News.

The midday fundraiser took place at the Montage Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols told ABC News.

Schwarzenegger’s participation today does not amount to an endorsement, though, Kasich’s campaign said.

Kasich and the star of “The Terminator” enjoy a long friendship with roots dating back decades.

Kasich lives and works in the Columbus, Ohio, area, which since 1989, has played host to a bodybuilding competition promoted by Schwarzenegger. Originally called the Arnold Classic, it has since expanded into a multi-sport fitness festival called the Arnold Sports Festival.

Schwarzenegger has also promoted an after-school program in Ohio. Last year, Kasich spoke at a ceremony marking the relocation of a giant statue of Schwarzenegger in Columbus.

"Listen, he's a pal. He's just been a great friend of mine," Kasich said, according to Northeast Ohio Media Group. “Arnold is a worldwide phenomenon. It's just the way it is. There are not many people like him on the face of the Earth.”

In May, paparazzi shot video of the pair after they grabbed lunch in Beverly Hills, and they brushed off political questions. Schwarzenegger told them he and Kasich were “old friends.”

Northeast Ohio Media Group first reported on Schwarzenegger’s involvement with today’s fundraiser, which comes at a time when Kasich trails behind many of the other GOP presidential contenders when it comes to the amount of money they’ve raised for their campaign.

Kasich’s campaign would not comment on how many people were scheduled to attend the fundraiser or provide any more details about the event.