LOS ANGELES (CBS SF & AP) — Former California governor and action movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger was recovering in a Los Angeles hospital after undergoing a heart surgical procedure, his spokesman confirmed Friday .
The 70-year-old former California governor had a scheduled procedure to replace a pulmonic valve on Thursday, according to Schwarzenegger’s spokesman, Daniel Ketchell. He was in stable condition on Friday.
“His first words were actually ‘I’m back,” so he is in good spirits,” Ketchell tweeted.
The operation was necessary to replace a valve that had originally been installed in 1997 for a congenital heart defect.
“That 1997 replacement valve was never meant to be permanent, and has outlived its life expectancy,” Ketchell said.
Schwarzenegger opted for a less-invasive catheter valve replacement procedure.
An open-heart surgery team was ready during the procedure, but Ketchell said their presence wasn’t unusual in such circumstances.
Last week, Schwarzenegger showed no signs of ill health at an event in Los Angeles where he teamed up with Ohio Gov. John Kasich to talk about their vision of future for the GOP.
The two veteran politicians urged the GOP to move more toward the center. Their future vision of the GOP would be a party of inclusiveness, a kinder tone and a willingness to work with Democrats on immigration and climate change to shape the agenda.
“I’m sick of politics,” Kasich, a potential 2020 presidential candidate, said at one point at a forum in Los Angeles, eliciting a round of applause.
Knitting his fingers together repeatedly for emphasis, he said people need to work together, and he recalled President Ronald Reagan working with Democrats on Social Security.
Reagan was no doctrinaire, Kasich said, but “operated to fix things.”
In an obvious dig at Trump, Schwarzenegger said that voters were looking for answers but that the party “is giving them Twitter fights instead.” The president’s name, however, came up only sparingly Wednesday.
“We can’t be afraid to talk about health care,” Schwarzenegger said. “We can’t be afraid to talk about the environment.”