"I've been governor twice in California, and now to go and go to this is terrific for me. And for him, it's great to go from this to politics," Schwarzenegger, now six years removed from office, told ET. "The bottom line is, the country, America, where do you have the possibilities to do that many things? Only in America."
Schwarzenegger will preside over The New Celebrity Apprentice as the franchise's first host heads to the Oval Office.
"I'm 68 years old and this is a whole new challenge -- something that I've never done before, so this is really wonderful," Schwarzenegger said. "And I think with the characters that they've picked there will be major drama."
This season's roster of celebs includes includes Laila Ali, Brooke Burke-Charvet, Eric Dickerson, Boy George, Matt Iseman, Carrie Keagan, Carson Kressley, Lisa Leslie, Jon Lovitz, Vince Neil, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Kyle Richards, Chael Sonnen, Porsha Williams, Ricky Williams and Carnie Wilson.
Snooki told ET she's ready for America to see another side of her through the show.
"I'm not going to the club anymore and getting wasted, I'm home with my kids, and I love my life now," she said. "The brand is still Snooki, but as a mom I'm Nicole."
With the show moving from New York City to Los Angeles, Richards seems convinced she has a particular edge over everyone.
"I think what is an advantage is that I am born and raised in Los Angeles, so I know this town inside and out," she said.
Boy George is just as curious as anyone else to see how he might perform.
"It's going to be very interesting to see whether I am a team player, whether I can survive," he said. "We'll see!"
And as Trump leaves, so does his famous catchphrase, "You're fired." So what will Schwarzenegger say when he has to terminate contestants from competition?
"There are so many ideas," he revealed. "From 'Hasta la vista, baby' to 'You won't be back' or 'Get to the chopper!'"
The New Celebrity Apprentice premieres on Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.