'This Week' Transcript: Arnold Schwarzenegger

SCHWARZENEGGER: You do the kind of things that are right for the people, that are right for the state, rather than what is right for your party. It was not right for my party. The Republicans, the party itself hates it, even though I had other Republicans vote right along on that budget. That's how we got it passed, because we need two-thirds of the votes in order to pass a budget.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So when you -- we're looking at a similar budget crisis in the coming years here in the United States. Does the Republican Party have to re-think its absolute opposition to tax increases of any kind?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, no, I think that the Republican Party or any party has to always think, when you make a decision, "Do I want to make a decision that's based -- that's best for the party? Or am I a public servant and have to serve the people, what is best for the people?"

And in this particular case, in order to solve a $42 billion deficit, the only way you can do that is a combination of making severe cuts and also having some revenue increases.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How -- how long is it going to take California to dig itself out of this hole?

SCHWARZENEGGER: I think that you will see that there's a nationwide and a worldwide crisis right now. I think every country in the world is scrambling right now and does really have some serious problems with revenues with their businesses, with their housing, and with all of those things. I mean, it's -- it's worldwide. All the other states have the same kind of problem.

So I think that it would take -- and yesterday we had some briefings where Bernanke was to give a speech and other people, experts. It is very clear that we will see kind of a pick-up again, if you will, beginning of next year, that we will...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But not this year?

SCHWARZENEGGER: ... when we -- when will we come back to normal again? I think that could take years from now to get back to where we were.

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 mistake.


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 this 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 different.

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