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Arnold Schwarzenegger criticizes fellow Republicans

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger criticized fellow Republicans on Sunday as being hypocritical when they trash the federal stimulus program, and he dismissed the “tea party” movement as “just an expression of anger and dissatisfaction.”

Schwarzenegger spoke on ABC’s “This Week,” on which he appeared with Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, a Democrat.

Host Terry Moran played a clip of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, attacking President Obama and saying the stimulus hadn’t created any private-sector jobs.

“I find it interesting that you have a lot of the Republicans running around and pushing back on the stimulus money and saying this doesn’t create any new jobs,” said Schwarzenegger, who has frequently criticized national Republicans, often on Sunday talk shows. “And then they go out and they do the photo ops and they are posing with the big check and they say, ‘Isn’t this great? Look what kind of money I provide here for the state.’ . . . It doesn’t match up.”

Obama made similar comments about the GOP last week.

Schwarzenegger, in Washington for the National Governors Assn. conference, has a private meeting scheduled with Obama on Monday, in which he is expected to seek more federal aid for California.

He urged his party to work with the Democratic president.

“I don’t want to beat up on my Republican colleagues, but I think it’s kind of politics rather than thinking about only one thing, and this is, how do we support the president?” he said. “How do we support him and do everything we can in order to stimulate the economy?”

When Moran asked if the GOP was “the party of no,” Schwarzenegger said Republican opposition to Obama was driven by the party’s desire to win elections.

“They have to do everything they can in order to win in November, so they are going to say no to everything,” Schwarzenegger said. “They are going to say it is not good what Obama is doing. It is natural.”

At the same time, he said, Republicans are tapping into voter anger, which is embodied by tea party groups that oppose taxes, illegal immigration and a host of other issues. But Schwarzenegger suggested the movement is unproductive.

“The tea party is not going to go anywhere. I think the tea party is all about just an expression of anger and dissatisfaction,” he said.

“And I see it in California when people come up to me and say, ‘You know I am angry that you guys don’t get along in Sacramento, I am angry that they are not getting along in Washington, I am angry that nothing gets done, I am angry that I am unemployed, I am angry that people are losing homes, I am angry that businesses are losing their businesses and all of those kind of things and the economy is down.’ ”

michael.rothfeld@ latimes.com


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