To paraphrase first lady Michelle Obama, when the old Celebrity Apprentice boss goes low, the new one goes high.

After President-elect Donald Trump mocked successor Arnold Schwarzenegger for getting lower ratings than he did in his last season of the NBC reality competition, the former California governor issued a grown-up response: "There's nothing more important than the people's work."

As in, get back to it, please, Donald.

Schwarzenegger did get in a little dig, though: I wish you the best of luck and I hope you'll work for ALL of the American people as aggressively as you worked for your ratings."

Although Schwarzenegger did not endorse Trump and encouraged fellow Republicans to vote for other candidates, he later told Today host Matt Lauer that it was time for the country to unite behind its new president.

But that soon-to-be president has a long memory when it comes to slights and it seems that not even being part of the same show buys him a pass.

"Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got "swamped" (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT. So much for him being a movie star-and that was season 1 compared to season 14. Now compare him to my season 1. But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary."

He is technically correct: Some 4.9 million turned in for the premiere of Schwarzenegger's New Celebrity Apprentice Monday, which put it third behind CBS sitcom Kevin Can Wait (7.3 million) and ABC's Bachelor season premiere (6.6 million). In the coveted 18-49 demo, The Bachelor pulverized Celebrity Apprentice by 62%.

But Trump's numbers for his own final season opener are not exactly brag-worthy. The seventh cycle of Celebrity Apprentice (and the 14th overall) opened to 6.3 million on Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015. The next night's episode (its first in its regular timeslot) was seen by 6.5 million. (The series peaked at 28 million in April 2004).

But this marks a rare time Trump has been willing to drag down his own franchise to take a potshot at a perceived political enemy.

Executive producer Mark Burnett and NBC have yet to publicly acknowledge or address their beef.