Schwarzenegger to GOP: Put Aside Ideology

By Jennifer Parker

Feb 22, 2009 10:30am

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger repeated today on "This Week" that he’d take any state aid money GOP governors like Gov. Mark Sanford, R-S.C. turn down — a position that has raised the ire of many of his Republican colleagues in Washington, D.C. this weekend.

"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 need it," Schwarzenegger said.

He also suggested his party’s ideological opposition to tax cuts isn’t always tenable.

"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?’" he said.
Schwarzenegger defended his California budget plan which will raise taxes in his state, despite his campaign pledge against a tax hike.

"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," Schwarzenegger said.

The California governor also told me he may be open to the prospect of nationalizing some of the nation’s struggling banks.

"Well, with some banks, that’s maybe necessary," he told me. "I think the most important thing is, how do we create stability in this country? And I think this is why it is very important that the administration has a very clear message and not change it. I think that what America has really gone through, a huge challenge just this last year, because we have had a different administration. They have a different way of thinking. No — no one here is right or wrong, but a different way of thinking."

Schwarzenegger said Republicans in Washington must put aside their ideology and work with President Barack Obama on solving the economic crisis.

"You know, you’ve got to go beyond just the principles. You’ve got to go and say, ‘What is right for the country right now?’" he said. "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."

–George Stephanopoulos

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