Schwarzenegger Welcomes Stimulus, Calls Program Job Creator

Feb 21, 2009 6:18pm

ABC News’ Tahman Bradley reports:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif., said Saturday he’s willing to give the $787 billion federal stimulus program a shot because his state needs the money to get people working again.

In an interview with ABC News, Schwarzenegger seemed to reject the view that the aid won’t help improve the economy, a position at odds with a few of his fellow Republican governors, who’ve staked out positions opposing the rescue money.

"And of course some people did complain that they didn’t think it was the perfect thing. But what is perfect? And I think that you can ask a thousand different people what their ideal stimulus package is and you’d get a thousand different answers," Schwarzenegger said.

Schwarzenegger stopped short of saying that he believes the stimulus will reverse California’s fiscal woes but he did praise some of the state aid in the recently signed legislation.

"I think that there’s some good things in there. Like it helps with improving the economy, creating jobs, our education system, health care, for general fund. I think it will put a lot more people to work," he said. "I think that we are very happy in California that we got part of the stimulus package because for us it means $80 billion in benefits."

Schwarzenegger was in Washington this weekend for National Governors Association meetings. He skipped the California Republican Party convention for the DC meetings.

Schwarzenegger has been feeling the heat back home and not just from Democrats. The California committeeman for the Republican National Committee, Shawn Steel, said of Schwarzenegger, "He’s not comfortable being a Republican, and Republicans aren’t comfortable with him being a Republican or being governor," per the Golden State media.

Schwarzenegger ignored ABC’s question about Steel’s remarks.

The governor will take more questions tomorrow when he talks with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on "This Week".

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