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Schwarzenegger to stump for Bush in Ohio
Updated: 2004-10-21 09:23

California's movie star governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, will campaign for US President George W. Bush in the crucial battleground state of Ohio late next week, a report said.

After months of speculation, the San Francisco Chronicle said the moderate Republican governor will finally go out to bat for the conservative Bush on the weekend before the November 2 presidential election.

Schwarzenegger will use his star power to rally support for Bush in the eastern state on the weekend of October 29, the Chronicle said.

Aides to the governor declined to confirm the report but told AFP that "it is likely" that Schwarzenegger would head to Ohio shortly just before the election, stressing however that "no schedule has yet been announced."

"I have no plans," to go to Ohio, Bush told reporters Tuesday, adding that when the president "comes out to California ... I will be there, ready to support him and campaign with him."

Ohio is one of the three most bitterly-contested "swing states" in the election, along with Florida and Pennsylvania, that Bush and his Democratic foe John Kerry badly need to win in order to clinch the presidency.

While Schwarzenegger has not been enthusiastic about campaigning for Bush, he has long said he would consider stumping for him in the state that a home from home for the former Mr Universe bodybuilding champion.

The socially liberal Austrian-born "Terminator" star and newly-minted politician has largely kept his distance from the conservative Bush with whom he has little in common.

While Schwarzenegger appeared at the Republican convention in New York in late August to express his support for the president, the two men are diametrically opposed on central policy issues including abortion, stem cell research, gun control and gay rights.

Bush is heavily opposed to all the hot-button issues, while Schwarzenegger, governor of a traditionally Democratic state, supports a moderate stance on the social policies.

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