Californians will soon see advertisements urging them to help give Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other foreign-born citizens the chance to run for president.
The cable television ads, set to begin running Monday, are from a Silicon Valley-based group that wants to amend the U.S. Constitution, which limits the presidency to people born in the United States. Schwarzenegger was born in Austria but became a U.S. citizen in 1983.
“You cannot choose the land of your birth. You can choose the land you love,” Lissa Morgenthaler-Jones says in the ads.
She is a San Francisco Bay area mutual fund manager and major Schwarzenegger campaign donor who is helping pay for the ads and created a companion Web site.
Schwarzenegger, 57, has said he would consider running for president if the Constitution allowed but hasn’t pushed for a constitutional change.
The TV ads mark the first significant attempt to build public support for an amendment. While polls show Schwarzenegger remains popular with voters, the idea of a constitutional change is not.
Four proposed amendments are circulating in Congress, but none has advanced. Constitutional amendments require congressional approval and ratification by 38 states.