The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

June 2, 2010
Gov. Schwarzenegger says he's untroubled by Poizner barbs

It's one of the main lines of attack against Meg Whitman -- that she represents a third term for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, anathema now to many conservative Republicans who once idolized him.

Trying to catch up to Whitman before Tuesday's GOP primary, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner is using the comparison as if it were an epithet.

But if Schwarzenegger is troubled by that, he's not letting on.

"Well I didn't know she has big biceps like me," the governor jokes about the comparison in an interview scheduled to air Thursday morning on Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends." "But you know I don't pay any attention. This is just politics...You know I laugh at all those things."

"It's sad that in politics, especially the way our primary system works, that you have to do that, that you have to say all kinds of crazy things," he adds in the interview, according to excerpts provided to The Bee today. "And the bottom line is that I focus on the work that I have."

And at the top of his to-do list is dealing with a $19 billion budget deficit. He has proposed draconian cuts in social programs, including the end to the state's welfare-to-work program. The cuts have been summarily dismissed by Democrats in the Legislature, who instead suggested tax hikes that have little to no chance of passing. Schwarzenegger unsurprisingly blames Democrats for the mess.

"I was not able to really fix the budget system and the tax system in the way that I wanted to in California; because you know we have a Democratic legislature," he says in the interview.

He also says he wasn't seeking a "bailout" by asking the Obama administration for billions: "We only believe in getting the money that we deserve. We are partners with the federal government in a lot of programs if its education funding, healthcare funding, or for instance the funding for the incarceration of undocumented immigrants."

As for his future after leaving office, Schwarzenegger wouldn't go there in the interview. "I have no idea what I'm going to do next," he says. "If I start putting my foot over to my next career or what I'm going to do next that means I'm not keeping my eye on the ball. And one thing I learned from bodybuilding and from sports in general: keep your eye on the ball."

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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