posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 09:32 AM
Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Sunday's "Meet the Press" that anyone who has been a U.S. citizen for at least 20 years -- as he has -- should
"absolutely" be able to seek the presidency. A constitutional amendment proposed by Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, would make that possible.
The Austrian-born former bodybuilder and businessman said he's been too busy with California's problems to think about running for president, but
obviously alluded to his own success as an example supporting Hatch's proposed amendment. The California Governor said "there are so many people in
this country that are now from overseas, that are immigrants, that are doing such a terrific job with their work, bringing businesses here, that
there's no reason why not."
Opponents of Hatch's proposal and Schwarzenegger's suggestion cite one major reason "why not" -- the Constitution, which says only natural-born
U.S. citizens are eligible for the country's highest office. With trade issues and overseas outsourcing poised to be major issues in the 2004
election, this is sure to be a hot topic for some that see it as no less than "outsourcing the Presidency."
Though traditional conservatives have been less than enthusiastic about welcoming immigrants in the past, Hatch's proposal represents a major shift
in conservative thinking -- that thinking being "we could run Arnold." The proposed amendment to allow citizens of no less than 20 years, which just
allows for Schwarzenegger that immigrated in 1983, has been poignantly alluded to as "the Arnold clause" of the U.S. Constitution.
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