Advertisements will start running today on cable television in California urging state residents to help give Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other foreign-born citizens the chance to run for president.
The ads have been placed by 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.
The ads feature Lissa Morgenthaler-Jones, a mutual fund manager and major Schwarzenegger campaign donor who is helping pay for the campaign. "You cannot choose the land of your birth. You can choose the land you love," she says in the ads.
Schwarzenegger, 57, has said he would consider running for president if the Constitution allowed it, but he hasn't pushed for a constitutional change.
The television 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.