Schwarzenegger rallies support at Marketplace event

Daniella Williams

Arnold Schwarzenegger rolled into The Marketplace Friday on the “Running Man” bus, acknowledging his Hollywood past and bringing controversy with him.

Protesters, supporters and the curious came out in droves to see the show. In light of recent allegations against the former bodybuilder, many came to see what he had to say.

Theresa Martinez, 28, came to the rally to see if Schwarzenegger would comment on the women’s claims that he had groped various parts of their anatomy. However, her curiosity was not to be satisfied. The closest the then-prospective governor came to acknowledging the allegations was asking himself a hypothetical question.

“‘Why would you get into politics? You know they will try to tear you down.’ You know what I say to them? I say everything that I have is from California,” the actor announced amid wild cheers.

Candi Easter, secretary for the Kern County Democratic Central Committee, came to the rally to protest Schwarzenegger’s bid for governor.

“How can we possibly elect a man that has these kinds of problems? Some people are saying it happened 20 or 30 years ago, but some of them happened only a couple of years ago,” she said. “I’m opposed to Arnold Schwarzenegger becoming governor. I think it’s a disgusting thing that could happen to our state.”

However, Bryan Todd, 40, doesn’t believe the charges should be taken at face value. For him, the timing of the information’s release is too convenient.

“I think it’s all very suspiciously timed. I think it’s just political garbage,” he said. “I find it very suspicious that it’s being regurgitated by a lot of the press now, because none of it’s new.”

It was not just the recent accusations that drew people. Bakersfield College student Laura Davis, 20, whose favorite movie is “Kindergarten Cop,” wanted to see the spectacle, as well as hear about Schwarzenegger’s platform.

“I want to see Arnold, and listen to him talk, and give him a chance,” she said. Davis hopes that Schwarzenegger will do better than Gov. Gray Davis.

“He’ll terminate the budget,” she said with a laugh, also noting that it doesn’t hurt that, “He’s got a good butt! I’ve seen it naked in ‘Terminator.'”

Clayton Blake, 20, another BC student, was not impressed with Schwarzenegger’s appearence in what he considers to be a Republican county.

“Quite frankly, it was a lot of what I expected it to be. A lot of empty rhetoric demonstrating one-sided information,” he said.

Though the crowd was largely in favor of Schwarzenegger, the protesters made their presence known. Toting signs calling Schwarzenegger’s moral character into question, those against the would-be governor tried to keep the atmosphere peaceful. Ann Cervantes wanted nothing more than to express her feelings on Schwarzenegger’s bid, but found that it was no easy task.

“Being a Democrat, I think it’s fantastic that we can come out here, and whether we’re for it or against it, that’s democracy in action,” she said.

However, one aspect disturbed Cervantes.

“What’s disheartening is that people get in your face and start telling you what you should and should not be doing. I said, ‘But we’re out here to express our freedom of speech.'”