'This Week' Transcript: Gov. Schwarzenegger

ABC'S "THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS" NOVEMBER 16, 2008

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning and welcome to "This Week."

Our exclusive headliner, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

SCHWARZENEGGER: Good to see you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: On more government bailouts for the economy.

STEPHANOPOULOS: President Bush is resisting that. So are your Republican colleagues.

SCHWARZENEGGER: I don't care about what anyone's philosophy is.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The GOP brand.

SCHWARZENEGGER: If they want to go and talk about core values, I think it's all nonsense talk. I think we have to just talk about one thing -- what do we need now.

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STEPHANOPOULOS: And our next president.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think he'll have to challenge you on the basketball court? Plus...

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, D-N.Y.: I'm not going to speculate or address anything.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... will Hillary be Madam Secretary? That and the rest of the week's politics on our roundtable, with George Will, Sam Donaldson, Cokie Roberts and Paul Krugman of the New York Times. And as always, the Sunday Funnies.

UNKNOWN: Barack Obama met with Hillary Clinton on Friday to see if she would be interested in a role in his administration. Of course, said Hillary. I'll take president.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Before Sarah Palin came along, no Republican could match Arnold Schwarzenegger's star power. He's still the GOP's most powerful governor. But Schwarzenegger did not join his peers at the conference in Miami this week, so we went to him, for a wide-ranging conversation on the economy, the election, and how his party can come back. When we sat down Friday afternoon in Los Angeles, the governor was dealing with two emergencies -- more devastating wildfires, the worst near Los Angeles in four decades; plus, a budget crisis that's forcing him to abandon his "no new taxes" pledge. That's where we began.

SCHWARZENEGGER: Through global warming, we have now a fire season all year round. We used to have fire seasons only in the fall. But now the fire seasons start in February already. So this means that we have to really upgrade and have more resources, more fire engines, more manpower, and all of this, which, of course, does cost extra money.

But I think that that's what -- you know, why you have reserves in the budget.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you have a budget crisis now.

SCHWARZENEGGER: When we have such things as the -- but we have a budget crisis as many other states have. It's simply because, you know, this is a different world now. We have been hit first by an economic slowdown. And then, because we are relying through our tax system, that is relying heavily on income tax and capital gains tax, that we have a flat economy, but our revenues took a dive by 10 percent. So that means that all of sudden, we have $11.2 billion less than anticipated. And so now we are in a special session to bring Democrats and Republicans to lead us together, and it's to cope with those kind of things through revenue increases and also making additional cuts.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yet, your critics say that this one-and-a-half- cent sales tax is the most regressive form of tax. It's going to hit the people who are going through the toughest times right now the hardest.

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