- The Washington Times - Friday, January 6, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump on Friday touted himself as a “ratings machine” compared to actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who became the host of NBC’s “The New Celebrity Apprentice” this year.

“Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got ‘swamped’ (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT,” Mr. Trumptweeted, referring to his own initials.

“So much for … being a movie star-and that was season 1 compared to season 14. Now compare him to my season 1. But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary,” the president-elect tweeted.

The new reality TV show, which debuted Monday, attracted 4.93 million viewers in Nielsen’s preliminary ratings and got a 1.3 rating in the 18-49-year-old demographic, according to Variety.

By comparison, the 2008 debut of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” starring Mr. Trump, drew an average audience of 11.08 million and a 4.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic, the entertainment newsmagazine said.

Mr. Trump is retaining an executive producer credit on the new show.

Mr. Schwarzenegger backed Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the 2016 GOP presidential primary contest and said last October that he would not vote for Mr. Trump.

The president-elect was already a well-known commodity in the New York real estate and business world by the time the original “Apprentice” debuted in 2004, but his featured role in the business-related reality shows helped cement his status as a national and global media icon.

Mr. Trump’s criticism comes several days after “New Celebrity Apprentice” debuted with Mr. Schwarzenegger as host. According to Variety, the show debuted Monday night with 4.93 million viewers, down more than 43 percent from Mr. Trump’s final premiere in 2015. 

Mr. Schwarzenegger responded to the president-elect’s comments Friday morning, tweeting, “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.”

He also urged Mr. Trump to contemplate a quote from Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address. “It inspired me every day I was Governor, and I hope it inspires you,” he wrote.

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