This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- If congressional Republicans eliminate the federal estate tax, one Sacramento lawmaker says he'll ask voters to create a state version and use the money for a variety of California programs.
- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders received a rock star's welcome in Los Angeles over the holiday weekend.
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took his strongest swipe yet at President Donald Trump on Thursday after his fellow Republican said people should pray for Schwarzenegger because of the low ratings on “Celebrity Apprentice."
After Trump made the comments at the National Prayer Breakfast , a visibly frustrated Schwarzenegger tweeted a video in which he offered to switch jobs with Trump.
"You take over TV, because you’re such an expert in ratings, and I take over your job. And then people can finally sleep comfortable again. Hmm?" Schwarzenegger said.
Schwarzenegger, who replaced Trump as the host of the reality show, has long made clear that was he no fan of Trump. He voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the California primary even after Kasich had dropped out and it was clear Trump would be the GOP nominee.
But until Thursday, he has criticized Trump by objecting to his policies, appointees or statements, such as the implementation of the temporary immigration ban on people from seven Muslim-majority nations, Trump's statements questioning the impartiality of a Mexican American judge and Trump's selection of Oklahoma Atty. Gen. Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
When Trump first criticized Schwarzenegger about the show's ratings in January, the former governor responded by wishing him luck as president, hoping Trump would work as hard for all Americans as he did for his ratings, and by reading part of Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address that began, "We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies."
Meanwhile, The Times' Libby Hill explores whether the ratings on the current version of "Celebrity Apprentice" are really bad .