December 20th, 2009
06:53 PM ET
3 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. Adam

    It's nice, in still-partisan age, to see a candidate willing to speak his mind about a candidate and not tear down. The Governor is not my favorite human being, but I – who am a Democrat – have watched him do what he can for his state and give good service, and I commend him for speaking his mind on issues – giving his opinion, not parroting the opinion of his party leaders.

    December 20, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. tony ivey

    i use to like arnold but he lost all inteligence he had which was nt much.

    December 20, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  3. cheryl

    I AGREE!
    He has the guts to change a failed system.
    The Health care bill will pass.

    December 20, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  4. Gary

    Thank you CNN.

    December 20, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  5. John in AZ

    I have never been a fan of Schwarzenegger, but this kind of objectivity combined with his championing of environmental causes in California make me see him in a new light. It is no small thing for a member of the Republican Party these days to say anything complimentary about our President...it seems that they are all committed polarizing the public to gain a few seats in the upcoming midterm elections.

    December 20, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  6. ATL Guy

    I am embarrassed by what's coming out of the Republican Party as a whole. Arnold and Bloomberg and being truthful in giving the President the credit he deserves. The only reason the others in the Republican Party are full bore negative on Obama is because they want him to fail. They can not have the first black president of the US have a successful Presidency especially following a lackluster and incurious Republican President. Shame on them for not putting country first.

    December 20, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  7. GWA

    The GOP "Grey-haired Old Party" will surely cast out Arnold for even thinking positive thoughts about Obama let alone saying them in public.

    Nearly all the GOP'ers are good soldiers. The line up behind the GOP leadership and vote the party line, even if the party stance is bad or is going the wrong direction (Bush/Cheney), no one is “allowed” to get out of line. Hell, they even have to sign a document to make sure they stay in line. The repubs. have a limited vocabulary; No, Cut Taxes, Aborton, Guns, God and Regan.......

    Repubs. criticize the Dems. For not passing whatever they want with the majority they have. If all Dems voted 100% the Healthcare bill would have been done a long time ago. The reason it is not is because there are democrats “thinking” and analyzing the bill. (Unlike rank and file republicans who do not have an original thought among them)

    The republicans should be thrilled that at least one party does not vote the 100% the party line but rather takes the time to evaluate issues.

    December 20, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  8. Michael

    Schwarzenegger is the Governor of the most difficult and radical state in the country. California typically lead the way and forges the path that most states end up following sooner or later. Non-smoking, same sex marriage, marijuana laws....sure the state nearly bankrupt, but California has more people than many other states put together. More people than most small countries.

    He's a great example of a leader who hasn't run along party lines simply because he belongs to this side or that, but has followed his heart and done what he feels is right even in the face of violent opposition.

    December 20, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  9. tiff of lithia springs

    Thanks Arnold. It is not easy being chief. We would love for our troops to come home. Even when I voted for Obama, I knew that would be dicey. And even when the guy was on the campaign trail I was a little edgy about his mention of healthcare and its restructure. I will say it was a smart idea to work on that topic at the beginning of his term. I hope though that jobs and the economy are still at the forefront. IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN ONE YEAR TO GET OUT OF WHAT TOOK 8 YEARS TO GET INTO.

    December 20, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  10. cony

    If Arnold is for real. Then I tip my hat to him. Every American needs to step up and back our president because if we don't then we show the world that we don't care about anyone on this planet not even ourselves.

    December 20, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  11. Republican

    I was at COP15. This President arrived and simply became the chief negotiator, sitting out with unbelievable patience the spats of the Chinese walking out on negotiations, continuously bringing leaders back to the table regardless of insult and simply sticking to and grinding for the true agenda instead of politics. I have never been prouder to be an American.

    December 20, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  12. Frank Jones

    Too bad being an effective leader is more than just communicating. If that were all it took then the former actor and community organizer would both be in good shape. In reality it takes making tough, unpopular decisions, such as reducing spending, which neither of them are remotely capable of making.

    December 20, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  13. tarheel

    I would also give him an "A" the amount of bills and laws he has tried to pass and I would give him an "F" for results. Arnold is a RINO and might as well follow in the footsteps of another Arnold, Arnold Specter. Besides, why would they be asking his opinion on anything considering the how screwed up his state is.

    December 20, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  14. Steve

    Today, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the single best member of the Republican party. Someone who has the integrity and spine to stand up for what's right.

    Let him run, Schwarzenegger will be the President of the free world an the best president this nation has ever seen.

    December 20, 2009 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It is really too early to tell how well Obama is doing. He has rallied some people to support or critize some issues and policies. I happen to think that Republicans has been doing a better job at that then Democrats in the past few months. It will come back to bite Republicans when the Democrats say, "Okay, where's your stuff that you could have offered this time around? Oh, and where was it when you were in charge of the White House and both Houses of Congress?" Then, we the American public can ask the same questions. 2010 election will have people asking questions about what their members of Congress did now? Are they willing and able to answer those questions now?

    December 20, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  16. Jason B.

    Hold on, what crazy parallel world did I wake up in? A Republican...saying nice things about President Obama? I wasn't aware that was possible.

    Seriously though, good for Gov. Schwarzenegger.

    December 20, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  17. proud mother and sister of soldiers

    Let's see....he is governor of a bankrupt state, a state paying to educate illegals and provide their health care. Why wouldn't he like the entitlements this administration is voting to hand out?

    December 20, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  18. cool guy

    these guys are more then politicians

    December 20, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  19. Nea

    President Obama take this and run because this is as close you will get anything positive that comes from a Republican, the other ones is not going to give you any credit no matter how better things get.

    December 20, 2009 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  20. www.twitter.com/whybs

    From someone who supported Bush/Cheney & McCain!

    It's about time that right wing thugs put aside their ideologues!

    Obama is smart and effective; and is doing the best things for the U.S.!

    When we look back, there is little doubt that Obama will be considered the best president in our lifetime!

    Just watch!

    December 20, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  21. Dave G

    When Schwarzenegger's term as governor expires, I bet Obama will find a place for him in his administration.

    December 20, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  22. Terry from West Texas

    Schwarzenegger is one of the few Republicans with any integrity at all. He is telling us the truth as he sees it, and he is a very capable man. He went from being a skinny Austrian kid to a champion body builder to a movie star to a very wealthy businessman to the governor of California.

    Obama is working hard. The Congress is not cooperating. Republicans are trying to make his administration a failure no matter how many Americans suffer as a result. The average American is fickle and gives up after six months if his life hasn't been transformed. America's CEOs have shown absolutely zero leadership in this economic crisis.

    Oh well ....

    December 20, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  23. www.twitter.com/whybs

    From someone who supported Bush/Cheney & McCain!

    It's about time that right wing thugs put aside their ideologues!

    Obama is smart and effective; and is doing the best thing for the U.S.!

    When we look back, there is little doubt that Obama will be considered the best president in our lifetime!

    Just watch!

    I voted for Reagan twice and I'm not black (not that this matters!)

    December 20, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  24. james

    Nothing in this world is perfect and no one trying to make a difference will ever accomplish anything to everyone's satisfaction. I would also give Obama an "A" grade. My hat is off to Arnold for saying this also, his being a Republican. For those who are so very impatient for Obama to fix everything in a few months, I would say take another look. Obama is one of the most thoughtful and thorough presidents that we've had in a very long time.

    December 20, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  25. rad, c

    i totally agree with the gov. and the mayor..finally two leaders who can cross the partisan platform and see our president objectively. Dear President, please keep your current focus and do not be swayed by the opinion polls. Those who have been patient while watching the country being taken on the road to trouble, please show some level of patient while we are on the road to recovery.

    December 20, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
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