On Thursday morning at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Donald Trump asked people to pray for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Apprentice ratings. The president referenced the NBC reality show while speaking to the annual crowd of some 3,000 politicians and private citizens, which has been organized by the Fellowship Foundation since 1933. Citing how the show's ratings have been going "right down the tubes" and calling it a "total disaster" since he stopped hosting The Apprentice, Trump asked those in attendance to pray for the show's new host, Schwarzenegger, himself a former California governor and movie star. Trump remains an executive producer on the series.
According to Buzzfeed, Trump's remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast began with his boasting about his own success on The Apprentice while transitioning into jabs at his hosting successor.
But we have tremendous success on The Apprentice. When I ran for president, I had to leave the show. That’s when I knew for sure I was doing it. They hired a big, big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to take my place. And we know how that turned out. The ratings went right down the tubes. It’s been a total disaster. And Mark will never, ever bet against Trump again. And I want to just pray for Arnold, if we can, for those ratings.
Schwarzenegger did not waste time responding to Trump, posting a video on Twitter suggesting the two men switch jobs. Schwarzenegger said Trump could go back to hosting The Apprentice since he's "such an expert in ratings" and Schwarzenegger could be president "so that people finally sleep comfortably at night."
Trump's comments at the National Prayer Breakfast did not mark the first incident of publicly insulting Schwarzenegger. Two weeks before he was sworn into office, Trump took to Twitter to mock Schwarzenegger for The Apprentice's ratings. "Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got 'swamped' (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT. So much for....," he tweeted on Jan. 6.
Schwarzenegger responded, "I wish you the best of luck and I hope you'll work for ALL of the American people as aggressively as you worked for your ratings."
Although Schwarzenegger is a Republican, he did not endorse Trump. In fact, before the election he made a point of saying it would be the first time since he became a citizen that he would not be voting for the Republican nominee. In October, he released a statement, declaring "I want to take a moment to remind my fellow Republicans that it is not only acceptable to choose your country over your party — it is your duty."