February 22, 2009

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a lot to answer over California's financial woes, but he had a message for Republicans who want to oppose President Obama's policies. "I feel very strongly that I think that President Obama right now needs team players," Schwarzenegger told ABC's George Stephanopolous. "It's a very difficult time now, where we have to play together, rather than using politics and always attacking everything," he said.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you think Republican leaders in Washington

should be cooperating more with President Obama?

SCHWARZENEGGER: I think that, if they -- they should make an

effort to work together and to find what is best for the people,

because by derailing everything, it's not going to help anybody, and

it creates instability and insecurity.

And I think, also, the Obama administration -- I mean, as you

know, the president is very clear when -- in his message. And he's a

very great speaker and articulates really well.

If any of these right wing Govenors refuse stimulus money, I think California should get a few extra dollars, but that's also because Arnuld has been such as a failure as a Governor.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you think President Obama's stimulus package

is an important component of that. You are at odds with a lot of

Republicans, especially here in Washington. They almost all voted

against it. The chair of the Republican Governors Association, Mark

Sanford, Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina, said it's a huge


GOV. MARK SANFORD, R-S.C.: We're a nation that has $52 trillion of accumulated liability, $52 trillion of political promises that have been made, but not paid for. And the idea of stacking up another trillion, another trillion, another trillion, we really do get to that tipping point.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What's your response to him?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, Governor Sanford says that he does not want to take the money, the federal stimulus package money. And I want to say to him: I'll take it. I'm more than happy to take his money or any other governor in his country that doesn't want to take this money, I take it, because we in California can need it.

I think that it is a terrific package. I think that, if you ask 1,000 people for their opinion what is their ideal stimulus package,

you will have a 1,000 different answers. So everyone's is a little


I think that he has done a great job. And I think California benefits tremendously from that $80 billion that is tax benefits there

of around $35 billion. There's other advantages, $45 billion of monies that go to transportation, to education, to health care, and all those different areas.

Full transcript below the fold:

And there's even some money in there that could benefit our --our revenues or, I should say, our budget itself. We have a trigger

language built in there so that, if some money comes to that, then we

will reduce the cuts and we will increase the spending.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But Governor -- Governor Sanford and Governor Jindal and several other Republican governors are not only against the

stimulus package in principle, because it's going to add to our debt, they say that some of the specific provisions, like some of the

unemployment provisions, are going to uarantee -- make tax increases necessary in their states in future years. Is that what's going to

happen in California?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, no, I don't see it this way. I see only a

benefit to the state of California. That President Obama is going to

eventually do a tax increase on the wealthier people, I think that

writing is on the wall. I think he has talked about that during his


STEPHANOPOULOS: It's in the budget now.

SCHWARZENEGGER: And I don't like that, of course, but, I mean, I

understand that he is to do what he thinks is best for the -- for the

country, as much as I had to make decision what is best for the state

of California. So I think there are certain things that are

inevitable, especially when you have a crisis like this.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So when you see Governor Sanford, when you see

the Republican leadership here in Capitol Hill absolutely opposed to

this, are they being unrealistic?

SCHWARZENEGGER: No, I think that people have different opinions.

I mean, I think that Governor Sanford is a very, very smart guy, but

he has a different way of looking at that. And a lot of my colleagues

look at this differently.

I look at it in a more optimistic way, and I feel very strongly

that I think that President Obama right now needs team players. He --

this is why we're here in Washington right now. We have, you know,

more than 40 governors coming together here in Washington, and our

idea is to get together with the White House, with this administration, and to work together, to have Congress, the White

House, and the governors, and everyone work together, because it's a very difficult time now, where we have to play together, rather than using politics and always attacking everything...

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