Bush Withholds Schwarzenegger Support

08/14/2003 at 10:35 AM EDT

Speaking to reporters at his Texas ranch Wednesday, President Bush said that this week's PEOPLE coverboy, California gubernatorial hopeful Arnold Schwarzenegger, was not the only good candidate in the race, reports Reuters.

Furthermore, the chief executive insists that when he pays an upcoming visit to the Golden State, it will be to "campaign for George W." and not for the "Terminator" star and fellow Republican.

Without naming names, Bush went on to say that other candidates in the race would make "a good governor." Despite Bush's lack of endorsement, Schwarzenegger, who took an early lead in polls, remains the most prominent among the 135 certified candidates.

Schwarzenegger, 57, became the subject when the reporters asked the President why the California candidate had become the biggest political story in the nation, overshadowing his own race to be re-elected.

Sniffed Bush: "It is the biggest political story in the country? That's interesting. That says a lot. That speaks volumes. ... Oh, I think there's maybe other political stories. Isn't there, like a presidential race coming up? Maybe that says something."

Last year, Bush campaigned for Republican Bill Simon in his bid to become California governor. Simon is now back in the race, as is former Olympic organizer and prominent Republican Peter Ueberroth. (So, for that matter, is former "Diff'rent Strokes" star Gary Coleman, though his party affiliation has not been prominently mentioned.)

And while Schwarzenegger may not have the Prez on his team yet, he does have Warren Buffett, the veteran investor who is said to be worth $13 billion. On Wednesday the moneyman announced that Arnold would make "a great governor" and joined the campaign as chief financial adviser.

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