Schwarzenegger Criticizes Republicans For Stimulus Hypocrisy and Shrugs Off Tea Party Movement (Revised)

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Lame-duck California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has criticized fellow Republicans for being hypocritical in the oppose-it-then-take-it-and-brag-about-it position on President Barack Obama’s stimulus money — and shrugged off the Tea Party movement as unproductive.

It’s just the latest step in the evolution of Schwarzenegger, who has swung in varying degree to be a more ideological Republican and a more independent one — with his poll numbers generally going up when he is more independent. Independent voters helped elect Schwarzenegger — but biographies of him confirm that he is indeed an independent thinker, generally part of that vanishing breed called “Moderate Republicans.”

In an appearance on ABC’s This Week he had a lot to say about his party’s political behavior:Host Terry Moran played a clip of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, attacking President Obama and saying the stimulus hadn’t created any private-sector jobs.

“I find it interesting that you have a lot of the Republicans running around and pushing back on the stimulus money and saying this doesn’t create any new jobs,” said Schwarzenegger, who has frequently criticized national Republicans, often on Sunday talk shows. “And then they go out and they do the photo ops and they are posing with the big check and they say, ‘Isn’t this great? Look what kind of money I provide here for the state.’ . . . It doesn’t match up.”

Obama made similar comments about the GOP last week.

AND:

“I don’t want to beat up on my Republican colleagues, but I think it’s kind of politics rather than thinking about only one thing, and this is, how do we support the president?” he said. “How do we support him and do everything we can in order to stimulate the economy?”

When Moran asked if the GOP was “the party of no,” Schwarzenegger said Republican opposition to Obama was driven by the party’s desire to win elections.

“They have to do everything they can in order to win in November, so they are going to say no to everything,” Schwarzenegger said. “They are going to say it is not good what Obama is doing. It is natural.”

He also committed a sin of sins for a registered Republican these days: he said the tea part movement was unproductive.

“The tea party is not going to go anywhere. I think the tea party is all about just an expression of anger and dissatisfaction,” he said.

“And I see it in California when people come up to me and say, ‘You know I am angry that you guys don’t get along in Sacramento, I am angry that they are not getting along in Washington, I am angry that nothing gets done, I am angry that I am unemployed, I am angry that people are losing homes, I am angry that businesses are losing their businesses and all of those kind of things and the economy is down.’ ”

Here’s the full ABC This Week segment Schwarzenegger and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed G. Rendell:



FOOTNOTE
: I was interviewed by the Sacramento Bee’s Dan Weintraub for his excellent book on Schwarzenegger several years ago. In it, Weintraub basically says that due to my history of support and non-support of Schwarzenegger and the reasons why, I am basically the quintessential California independent voter. With California now being in dire financial shape (some public libraries can’t even afford summer reading programs for kids), it’s hard to see where “Ahnold” goes now in terms of future elected office, particularly within his chosen political party. But due to his bipartisan attitude (which is genuine if you read biographies written about him) it’s conceivable that Obama could one day invite him into his cabinet.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to a technical glitch earlier version of this post did NOT contain edits. This has now been restored to its proper form in the headline and lede.

  

12 Comments

  1. I've always liked Arnold. Governing California isn't not exactly an easy task. The people authorize new proposition projects costing billions, but require a 2/3 majority to raise taxes. When the budget doesn't balance they scream at Arnie…as if it is his fault.

    He has tried a lot of different approaches…some good, some bad…but he has tried.

  2. I like Governor Schwarzenegger. From where he comes from, I know for a fact that he will never be one of the nazi-esque ultra right-wing Republicans. However he is certainly not a girly man and opposes these silly girly man civil rights issues. I’d vote for him.

  3. Ich gebe Der Governator Lob für seine aufrichtigen Bemühungen. [hope bablefish is working correctly or I might have just insulted him..lol..] I'd vote for him too. Imagine having the gnads to actually try to make government work? To take great pride in exerting large effort to turn the Titanic around. He and Obama are in the same class: all work and nothing but criticism for sincere effort.

    I think if the Governator quits, he should become a cabinet member for Obama. He would make an excellent advisor on how to keep going under fire. At the very least he should be on his GOP-outreach team. He has an intimidating presence as well. Nothing like staring at the fierce maw of a big strapping angry austrian when you're all cocky about being a member of the party of “No!”.

  4. Arnold has been a mixed bag as an administrator, but he is neither glib or contrarian when criticizing. He seems like a decent leader, at least.

  5. I listened to the interview yesterday and I didn't think it was anti-GOP, anti-Tea Party the way this article highlights, I actually thought Arnold was pretty balanced. Maybe I need to listen to it again.

  6. Arnold inherited a state with lots of problems and huge challenges. Obama inherited a country with lots of problems and huge challenges. They're kind of like twins. ;-)

  7. See, that's what I'm talkin' about. Arnold would make a nice Team-Obama member.

  8. “In an appearance on ABC’s This Week he had a lot to say about his party’s political behavior:Host Terry Moran played a clip of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, attacking President Obama and saying the stimulus hadn’t created any private-sector jobs.”

    Not true… Romney very carefully said the stimulus had not created one “net job”. And Gov Schwarzenegger was astute enough to point that out. Romney's statement is mathematically correct.

  9. And as long as we are pointing out misquotes, let's analyze this statement……..

    He also committed a sin of sins for a registered Republican these days: he said the tea part movement was unproductive.

    “The tea party is not going to go anywhere. I think the tea party is all about just an expression of anger and dissatisfaction,” he said.

    “Not going anywhere” certainly aligns with the oft-expressed notion that the movement will not evolve into a formal third party. To say this translates to “unproductive” is wishful thinking on the part of those whose interests are antithetical to the movement……..since the movement has already been factually “productive” in the case of sending Martha Coakley back to Wellsley for further matriculation in Common Touch Studies 101.

  10. Look at the legacy of Governor Schwarznegger. He failed in virtually every policy initiative he tried. He made the state safer for Democrats and liberal and failed to develop any other moderate Republicans. He filled his staff with Democrats who will never return the favor.

    The day after he leaves office, it will be like he was never the governor. He ruled in the same way that Gray Davis who have ruled and he had the same impact.

    California deserves want is happening to it but the sad part is that it is what the future of the U.S. looks like. High taxes, massive government spending, poor value for the spending, the flight of middle class whites, and massive corruption to avoid the failures of government and the high tax rates.

  11. I like Arnold. I also like that he likes Gov. Paterson of NY. Cabinet member?

  12. “he should become a cabinet member for Obama”

    Where? Leading which department?

    Or should he be some kind of new “czar” and be sent on campaign trips as Obama has been taking? (Doing more than, say, Gibbs is doing, and not replacing someone on Obama's staff — Plouffe already has been brought aboard. Of course, we haven't head what he'll be doing. More confusion or ineptitude?)

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