Actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is working to change the law so he can mount a 2016 presidential run, according to a New York Post report.
The newspaper quotes unnamed sources who say the actor, who’s in New York City to promote his latest movie, “has been talking openly about working on getting the constitutional rules changed.”
The source said the 66-year-old Schwarzenegger, a Republican, intends to file the necessary paperwork to challenge the rules.
The U.S. Constitution forbids foreign-born citizens from holding the chief executive position, but some legal experts have said it’s not completely clear that courts would enforce the law instead of letting voters decide.
Constitutional amendments require two-thirds majority approval in both the House and the Senate and then must be ratified by at least 38 of the 50 states.
The Austrian-born Schwarzenegger, who became a U.S. citizen in 1983, said three years ago in a “Tonight Show” interview that he would run for president if the law were changed.
If he mounted a presidential bid without a change in law, it would be interesting to see how Republican primary voters respond.
According to a poll conducted in early 2012, more than 55 percent of self-described Republicans have always believed President Barack Obama was born in another country and another 8 percent once believed he was born in the U.S. but have since changed their minds.
And Schwarzenegger, who’s separated from his wife, Maria Shriver, after admitting to fathering a son with a housekeeper, could face opposition from so-called family values voters.
Schwarzenegger is a former bodybuilding champion who served as California governor from 2003 to 2011 and is known for his starring roles in the Terminator films, Total Recall, Kindergarten Cop and the recentExpendables films.