December 20th, 2009
06:53 PM ET
10 months ago

Obama gets an 'A' for effort from Schwarzenegger

'He’s a great speaker, a great communicator,' Gov. Schwarzenegger said of the president.
'He’s a great speaker, a great communicator,' Gov. Schwarzenegger said of the president.

Washington (CNN) – Not every Republican is a critic of President Obama. At least one thinks the president is doing a fine job – at least when it comes to the effort involved in being the country’s chief executive.

Asked to give Obama a grade as the end of the president’s first year in office approaches, Arnold Schwarzenegger, California’s Republican governor, gave Obama high marks.

“When it comes to effort, [Obama] should get a straight A,” Schwarzenegger told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King in an interview that aired Sunday on State of the Union.

“He’s out there with tremendous energy and he’s selling his ideas. And he has great enthusiasm there. He’s a great speaker, a great communicator.”

The one-time Hollywood action star also had some advice for Obama as the president tries to push his agenda through Capitol Hill’s partisanship.

“He has to hang in there,” Schwarzenegger told King, “be tough, just continue on, never give up, eventually he’s going to get all those things done.”

The California governor was echoing the sentiments of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who joined Schwarzenegger in the interview on State of the Union.

Bloomberg, a identified Independent and longtime Obama ally, was more circumspect in his assessment of the president’s first year.

After noting several challenges Obama has been facing since taking office, Bloomberg said he would give the president “a pretty high grade.”

“I hate to use letters,” Bloomberg said. “But [Obama] is working very hard and trying. And he’s got enthusiasm and drive. And I would just urge him to don’t – if he doesn’t get everything he wants – don’t get beaten down, don’t go back into your shell.”

Related video: Schwarzenegger and Bloomberg weigh in on the economy

soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. Francisco Cardenas

    Bravo Obama!

    December 20, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  2. John

    I can't wait for Rush to start hammering Arnold for this comment.

    December 20, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. Cindy

    I agree. He's doing a great job. I know Repubs hate contrasting him with GWBush, but I do very vividly remember at the begining of this economic crisis, as things started tumbling, Bush was nowhere to be seen. He'd come out of his house once in a while, make a speech, take no questions, and the market would decline the next day even further.

    Obama goes to Copenhagen, even though reports from there sound dire. He doesn't run and hide. I admire him for doing that, and I hope he continues.

    December 20, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  4. charlie in Maine

    As an educator I think that when asked to give someone a grade it should be explained that than one way to evaluate a performnce. For example criterian based evaluation one copares an individual's performance against a set of goals established ahead of time. On this scale Obama gets a B+. in a normative based evaluation however a student's work is compared to others that complete the same task . With this method comparing Obama to GW Bush Obama is off the scale.

    December 20, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. Max Par in NY

    good to see a republican using his brain instead of rhetoric

    December 20, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. Peggy in Texas

    Let's hear it for the GOVERNATOR!!!! FINALLY, a voice of reason from the right. This is such a refreshing change from the usual right wing gloom and doom rhetoric. Let's hope it catches on. No one in their right mind can deny President Obama is out there working just as hard as any human being can be expected to work in order to clean up the wretched mess he inherited. Thank you for acknowledging that, Governor!!!!!

    December 20, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. jeff

    Do you suppose Schwarzeneger wants to be US Ambassador to
    Austria??

    December 20, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. joseph, Port Moresby

    For his efforts from January 20 to December 21, Obama has brought my passion to the brim. My passion and love for the USA grows in leaps and bounds with this President at the White House. God bless President Obama and the USA.

    Wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful 2009. I am sure the World will be a better place to live.

    December 20, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. todd

    “He’s out there with tremendous energy and he’s selling his ideas. And he has great enthusiasm there. He’s a great speaker, a great communicator.”

    uh, so was hitler.

    December 20, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. Bob the Observer

    Oh, you mean Schwarzenegger; my mistake. I thought you said "Republican."

    December 20, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. joseph, Port Moresby

    For his efforts from January 20 to December 21, Obama has brought my passion to the brim. My passion and love for the USA grows in leaps and bounds with this President at the White House. God bless President Obama and the USA.

    Wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful 2010. I am sure the World will be a better place to live.

    PS Should read 2010 not 2009.

    December 20, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  12. John

    Thank you Arnold for giving President Obama a straight A,I was hoping someday that you will switch to Independent or Democrat for your concern in Global Warming.Good Luck.

    December 20, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. unemployed by Obama and now a TPN member

    just another lost soul in the political arena. another actor who has lost his way and is no good to anyone and governs a state which needs a real make over and a new leader.

    December 20, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. B

    The only Republican out there that has a mind of his own and isn’t owned outright by corporations !
    Nearly all of the rest are bought and payed for.

    Term limits is the only answer to get rid of all those Old angry white men.

    December 20, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. WW

    He's about to switch parties, like any other RINO; the burger has no pants.

    December 20, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. NVa Native

    Schwarzenegger is a Republican, not a tea bagger. That's why he can be honest.
    Too bad the rest of his party has been reduced to a tasteless joke who fears science. tolerance, history, morality, integrity, and true American values. It's sad loss for all of us.

    December 20, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. Steve

    *slams head on desk* Really Arnold? Really? An A? *slams head on desk*

    December 20, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  18. sara

    The Republicans has tried to beat the President and this country down since day one.
    They're coming at him with lies, distortions, name calling, divisiveness and everything's NO.

    They're coming at him with Birthers, Tea baggers!

    They rallying the "fringe" against him. When that doesn't work, Then they put the Crazy man Cheney out there to beat down his character along with other Crazies like Beck, Bachman, Sarah and Hannity.

    All while the Economic System was Failing that happened on their WATCH. Well so much for the "love of their country". Right. For the "love of themselves is more appropriate". And these are the people who others elect to make laws over their lives and livlihoods.

    December 20, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  19. Carnell From The Motor City!

    Now That's The Proper Way Of Showing A Person Some Respect, And I Appreciate Them Having That From Come From Governor Schwarzenegger And Mayor Bloomberg.

    December 20, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. Junior ? North-East MS

    I know that a lot of people hate this presient not because of what he's doing. But because of who he is.

    But after almost his first year in office. This president has done a great job. Better than the last 8 years president,,,,,,,,,,

    Junior / North-East MS

    December 20, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  21. karenilena

    I fully agree. Obama should get a definite "A" for effort. No one works as hard as this man especially in the face of the tsunami of criticism he faces on a daily basis......but still keeps in ticking.

    The man is like the ever ready battery....takes a licking and still keeps on ticking.

    May god keep you in his light Obama .......

    December 20, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  22. ClintonFan

    It's nice to see a Republican who doesn't have something bad to say about a Democrat. Thank you Mr. Schwarzenegger.

    December 20, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  23. Gary

    Finally a positive story about President Obama. Nice to see a republican with a little class, putting country before politics.

    December 20, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  24. DS

    Thank you, Governor. I agree. He has had the guts to take this job on and I think he is and is going to be a great president.

    December 20, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. Nathan from Atlanta

    The GOP will officially write off Arnold for that comment. True republicans don't praise Obama for anything.

    December 20, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
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