February 19th, 2009
03:45 PM ET
6 years ago

Schwarzenegger praises California budget deal

Schwarzenegger said the mix of tax hikes and budget cuts will have 'a positive impact' for California.
Schwarzenegger said the mix of tax hikes and budget cuts will have 'a positive impact' for California.

(CNN) – California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is praising his state's budget deal. The agreement, reached earlier today, ended a marathon battle over a bill that raises taxes, cuts spending and helps close the state's $42 billion deficit.

"This is a historic budget, and not only did they pass a great budget but also a great reform package," Schwarzenegger said, soon after the Democratic-controlled state Senate and Assembly passed the budget. "There's budget reform, and then primary reform, education reform, so there's all kind of great things that will have a tremendous impact, a positive impact on the state of California,"

But what does the agreement mean for Schwarzenegger himself, whose approval ratings in California have been stuck in the upper 30 to mid-40 percent range for the past year?

"There's a lot of pain in this budget deal, spending cuts, tax increases," CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider said. "I'm not sure Californians will greet it with celebration."

Schwarzenegger has experienced major swings in popularity during his tenure. His approval rating was in the 50s and 60s his first year and a half in office, but plummeted in mid-2005 after he engaged in a series of battles with California Democratic lawmakers, and backed a series of referendums that failed at the ballot box that November.

But the next year, Schwarzenegger began working with the Democrats again, and won a landslide re-election. His approval ratings stayed in the 50s in 2007 before dropping last year.

Schwarzenegger is term-limited, unable to run for re-election next year. One option in his future could be a battle against Sen. Barbara Boxer, who's up for re-election in 2010. But Schwarzenegger has not indicated any interest in entering what would be an rough, and expensive, political battle.

"Governor Schwarzenegger may not want to face the voters next year," Schneider said. "When times are bad and the president is not on the ballot, voters take out their frustration on the governor.


Filed under: Arnold Schwarzenegger
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Gary

    California can close their budget deficit, not have to lay off anyone and reduce our dependance on foreign oil if they would only allow off-shore drilling. Overall Arnold has done a good job and his is a liberal (or at least moderate) Republican. If Obama is looking to bring a republican into his cabinet, Arnold may be a good choice.

    February 19, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. Spencer/Newport News, VA

    Dovernor Schwarzenegger needs some speech reform.

    February 19, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. why praise this?

    this puts off the collapse a little longer

    Praise should be saved for revamping the California system which is clearly broken

    This is a poor bandaid

    February 19, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. Had It

    Just another Republican that wants some of the free/cheap money that's now available, even tho the Republicans mostly voted NO.

    I say NO MONEY TO REPUBLICANS. Let them get it from Steele.

    February 19, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. Justin from New Haven, CT

    I believe marriage is between a man and a woman.
    -Arnold S.

    I believe a governorship is between a qualified candidate and the populace of the state. Clearly, the Governator is an "activist" and "breaking with tradition" by pretending to be qualified for office.

    February 19, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. Patriot Guy

    I'll never understand why he gave up the life he had to be governor. That state is a fiscal basketcase. It's beyond hope......thanks to all the years of democrat rule.

    February 19, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. I hate Texas

    The funny thing is that his predacessor was ousted for not being able to get a budget passed on time! I look forward to his departure from Sacramento!

    February 19, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. TexasAlien

    Now, let somebody tell me: What really changed between the Schwarzenegger regime and the Gray Davis regime? Keep in mind that Arnold never had to contend with the Dick Cheney and Ken Lay/Enron-engineered energy supply conspiracy against the State of California in the Davis years (rolling blackouts, anyone?).

    February 19, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  9. Laverne

    @ Gary: I agree with you, and Maria Shriver could help seal the deal!

    February 19, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. Barackus Obamus Magnus

    Gary said : California can close their budget deficit, not have to lay off anyone and reduce our dependance on foreign oil if they would only allow off-shore drilling. Overall Arnold has done a good job and his is a liberal (or at least moderate) Republican. "

    With all due respect, I disagree. The potential earnings from oil drilling are overwhelmingly dwarfed by the earnings that tourism to the California coast brings. Worst case scenario: an oil spill like the one in Santa Barbara in the late 60's would destroy the economic potential of the coast. At the least, the oil rigs needed would be unsightly (like the ones off Huntington Beach Ca.)

    Besides, California already is #3 in the nation in oil production. More dilling would only amount to a drop in the bucket.

    February 19, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. gimmeabreak

    Poor people and schools got killed. Yea – a lot of "reform".

    February 19, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. Marge

    Well well are republicans finally gettting a clue......all they have done since the obama administration took over is try to obstruct everything and anything. Gee they even tried to obstruct California, trying to make things look bad, even tho Arnold is a member of their party....Tsk tsk tsk can't wait til 2010, and people will finally say....republican....what are they...

    February 19, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Whatever to happened Prop 11? Something do with electing candidates. Too many idiots in legislature. Useless.

    February 19, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  14. naqib

    Dang... that job aged him...
    Of course those positions seems to. Clinton and Bush showed it. Most likely Obama will too.... lots of late night worries I suppose.

    Best wishes to all out leaders... tough job in tough times.

    February 19, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. Steve (the real one)

    Any wonder why California is experiencing an exodus? Keep overtaxing people to cover up stupid liberal policies. Maybe you can ask Pelosi for those millions to protect the salt marsh mouse and hit up the clowns who funded the train from LA to Vegas! Maybe that will help! Gary, the libs would rather destroy their state and people than to allow of shore drilling!

    February 19, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. Griff

    Sindicate's work together... Filthy-Rich? So be it. But you made it happen. Fantasy!!!

    February 19, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. obama-mama

    I'll be back

    February 19, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. cheryl brooks from cali

    The Terminator certainly have terminated this state..........................

    February 19, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. Fan of Common Sense

    GARY:
    Schwarzenegger would have to be nuts to want to tarnish his image by getting involved with this administration. If Arnold wants to work with a bunch of corrupt, sleazy, elitist hypocrits with out-of-control egos and no morals, he can just go back to Hollywood. At least there he could make a heck of a lot more money and he might actually be able to hold on to some of his popularity.........assuming of course there are no more "Last Action Heroes."

    February 19, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. I can see Canada from my house!

    I have an idea, Gary: can we drill for oil at your house? We can run a test well right in your front yard.

    How do you feel about driling now?

    February 19, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. Leslie

    Arnold is not a good Governor the lies, the actions are almost criminal. I can't understand why someone whose ULTRA wealthy thinks the average Californian can afford more money to register there cars, afford more sales tax we are the highest in the United States and is firing teachers which cause problem in schools that don't have books. He's DISGUSTING I can't wait for him and Maria to be long gone they are HORRIBLE specimens of people if they are even human.

    February 19, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  22. E

    First thing he did in office was cut luxury car taxes and take out billions in borrowed bonds, both horrendous financial decisions. My brand new car is only $200 year in tag, title and taxes. no. really. You telling me seriously that people with brand new expensive cars can't add 50 bucks to that in order to keep teachers and nurses employed?!?!?

    Republicans would rather permanently destroy the environment, deny entry into state parks, take away dental care for teh poor, then pay a penny more in needed tax revenue on their bloated cars and gas guzzling ways..

    February 19, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. Barackus Obamus Magnus

    Steve (the real one) bellowed: "Any wonder why California is experiencing an exodus? Keep overtaxing people to cover up stupid liberal policies."

    Hey moron, read a book. 80% of the California budget consists of mandates from voter propositions. Californians have always believed we could bask in the golden glow of California without paying for it.

    I may be going easy on you, but your'e half right. It's the damn liberals (prop 98) and the damn conservatives (prop 13, 3 strikes) that ran the state into the ground.

    But if this is too much for your little brain to ponder, go ahead and blame the liberals and illegal aliens like every other idiot does.

    February 19, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. A.P. Fremont, Ca.

    It's ironic Arnold became Governor by recall of Gray Davis, who wanted to impose a tax for vehicle registration. The irony remains seen in the hyprocrisy Arnold had to commit to the same exact idea for keeping California's budget in order by DMV cost tax increases. Yet, Republican's "cried" for a recall back in 2001 based on this hypocrisy that they themselves, cannot even commit to for California. If this is the case, we need to recall any sitting Governor that cannot supervise any agreed upon budget with certain deadlines, so as to avoid disrupting the business of all Californian's.

    February 19, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. liz

    Here is a way to save money, STOP HOLDING ELECTIONS ON STUPID PROPOSITIONS EVERY TWO MONTHS!

    Explain to me how it costs 5 million dollars to pave a Los Angeles schoolyard?!?! How often is he flying his private jet on the state dime between Sacramento and LA?

    February 19, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
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